What is the Difference Between Christian Praise and Worship?
As a long-time Worship Leader, I have been asked this question many times and so I decided that it just might be a good idea to set up a Christian Praise Blog to help you all understand better.
We also discuss much more here, so I hope you look around and make yourself at home. I had tried putting “The Christian Praise Blog” on it’s own static Webpage but found it was too tedious to keep it up that way. We had originally changed from Blog format to static page due to a huge spamming problem with the comments. I am trying to work around the problem by monitoring the comments more closely and hope that it helps.
Because I am setting the Christian Praise Blog up all over again you will notice that many posts will seem to be written the same day. Obviously I am not that energetic to be writing so many posts in one day…. Lol … so things will slow down once I have the site up and running again.
I apologize to those of you who come back and visit often. My health is not as good as I would like it to be and so it keeps me away more than I would like. If you have a moment I wouldn’t mind a little prayer now and then to help me get my health back to normal. I really appreciate all of you and I thank you all for continuing to come back as often as you do.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You, May the Lord Make His Face to Shine Upon You.
Christian Praise becomes much easier for us when we realize How Big God really is and how much He truly loves us.
A few years ago, Bette Middler had a hit song called “From a Distance” which won a Grammy for “Song of the Year” in 1991. The words were nice and gave us the feeling that we were not alone in this world, that indeed God was watching us from a distance.
It’s a lovely platitude but it doesn’t really tell us where God actually is.
Christian Praise can be hard to muster up if we only believe in a God somewhere up there in the sky who looks down on us once in awhile. It may be a nice thought to some, but it doesn’t do much else except to give us a few warm and fuzzy feelings.
God is very much a part of your life and He chose it to be that way. He doesn’t just want to be God, He also wants to abide in You. He wants be your friend.
Abraham was called God’s friend, because he took the time to walk and talk with God.
Adam had direct communion with God in the Garden, before Adam and Eve got banished for their sin. Many scholars believe because they were banished that communion with God was cut off, but this does not make sense if Abraham was considered God’s friend. Maybe there wasn’t direct communication as in the garden but there had to be some type of communication in Abraham’s day. We can only speculate what that was.
One thing is clear though. In the old Testament the Spirit came upon the prophets. In the New Testament the Spirit is in us. Why the difference?
It is because of Christ’s death on the cross that the barrier between God and us can be breached.
John 14:16-20 (kjv) says:
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
God loves to commune with us and the best way to bring in His presence is with Christian Praise.
God abides in the praises of His people.
Psalm 22:3 (kjv) says: 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
God is not some Sugar Daddy in the sky that we make requests to and wait for Him to grant them. He is so close to us that we cannot truly describe it in proper words.
Paul Put it this way:
Acts 17:28 He is not far from us, for in him we live and move and have our being.
Every particle of yourself is in God and God is in every particle of you.
Jesus said in John 14:21-28
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, (then) what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.
If You Love Me, Keep my Word.
Knowing this, Christian Praise should come freely from your heart and lips as you marvel at the Greatness of God who comes to inhabit the very people He has purchased with the blood of Jesus. If we love Him and obey His commands, He will make His dwelling with us. Hallelujah!
Where is God?
God is in me, and you, if you love Him and keep His commandments.
One of my favorite songs from years gone by is “How Big is God?”
The lyrics to this song are:
Though Men May Strive To Go Beyond The Reach Of Space To Go Beyond The Distant Glimmering Stars This World’s A Room So Small Within My Master’s House The Open Sky But A Portion Of His Yard.
How Big Is God, How Big And Wide His Vast Domain To Try To Tell These Lips Can Only Start He’s Big Enough To Rule This Mighty Universe Yet Small Enough To Live Within My Heart.
As Winter Chill May Cause The Tiny Seed To Fall To Lie Asleep Till Waked By Summer’s Rain The Heart Grown Cold Will Warm And Trod With Life Anew The Master’s Touch Will Bring The Glow Again.
How Big Is God, How Big And Wide His Vast Domain To Try To Tell These Lips Can Only Start He’s Big Enough To Rule The Mighty Universe Yet Small Enough To Live Within My Heart.
If you were invited to a Christian Praise Service or a Christian Worship Service you would find that they are two different types of Song Services. Generally churches combine the two and call them “Christian Praise and Worship Services”. This keeps the confusion down, but in actuality Christian Praise and Christian Worship are two distinct things.
As a Christian Praise and Worship Leader for many years I always taught the congregation about the differences between Christian Praise and Worship. Let me define Christian Praise and Worship here for you.
• Christian Praise can be defined as focusing on what God has done in our lives.
• Christian Worship can be defined as focusing on Who God IS.
We can see a great example of Christian Worship in the following Praise Scripture : Revelation 4:8-12 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 9. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10.the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Compare this to this example of Christian Praise in the following scripture on Praise: Exodus:15:1-21 1Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name. 4Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hathHe cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sendest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 12Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. 14The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. 15Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. 16Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. 17Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established. 18The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. 19For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. 20And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
The above passage shows us that after God had brought the Israelite’s safely through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians Moses took up a song of praise extolling the wonders of what God had done on their behalf.
Those Scripture verses define Christian Praise very succinctly. This would be considered a Christian Praise song because it focuses on what God has done. Miriam and Moses are praising the Lord because He has bought them safely to dry land. They continue giving praises to God because of His wonders that He has performed.
Day by Day, is a beautiful Hymn that I put together a few months ago. I didn’t have very good equipment so please take that into consideration when listening 🙂
The reason I am adding it here today, even though it is not a great copy, is because I received some very bad news today. I have a friend that is dying of cancer and he was told a few weeks ago that he had 3 months to live. Sadly, after taking a biopsy, the results came back today and they told him that he only had a week at the most.
I am very saddened by this turn of events and very discouraged about it all. I remembered this particular song “Day by Day” and remembered how it has always gotten me through the tough times before. It puts my eyes on Jesus and reminds me that He is in control. This gives me some peace and I hope it will do the same for you no matter what you may be going through.
Day by Day
Words by: Karolina Sandell-Berg (1865) Translated to English by: A.L. Skoog
Music by: Oskar Ahnfelt
1 Day By Day And With Each Passing Moment
Strength I Find To Meet My Trials Here
Trusting In My Father’s Wise Bestowment
I’ve No Cause For Worry Or For Fear
He Whose Heart Is Kind Beyond All Measure
Gives Unto Each Day What He Deems Best
Lovingly, Its Part Of Pain And Pleasure
Mingling Toil With Peace And Rest
2 Ev’ry Day The Lord Himself Is Near Me
With A Special Mercy For Each Hour
All My Cares He Fain Would Bear, And Cheer Me
He Whose Name Is Counsellor And Pow’r
The Protection Of His Child And Treasure
Is A Charge That On Himself He Laid
As Thy Days, Thy Strength Shall Be In Measure
This The Pledge To Me He Made
3 Help Me Then In Every Tribulation
So To Trust Thy Promises, O Lord
That I Lose Not Faith’s Sweet Consolation
Offered Me Within Thy Holy Word
Help Me, Lord, When Toil And Trouble Meeting
E’er To Take, As From A Father’s Hand
One By One, The Days, The Moments Fleeting
Till I Reach The Promised Land
Christian Praise is mentioned approximately 190 times in the Bible depending on which version you are reading. It is very common to hear the phrase “Hallelujah” both in Christian circles as well as non-christian circles.
What does “hallelujah” mean?
Oftentimes it is also written as Allelujah. The angels themselves sing hallelujah to God, so what does it mean?
Actually as a direct translation from the Hebrew it means Praise (Hallel) God (jah, also known as Jaweh in the Old Testament. So, when we say “Hallelujah” What we are really saying is “Praise God”. This is a good thing in a sense because we are told to praise God, but if we just say it as an exclamation to something good that has happened then it might lose its flavor, so to speak. This is obviously the case with non-Christians saying it when trivial things such as their favorite hockey team scores a goal for the home team. If we are truly happy that God has allowed things to happen then it is not derogatory in any way but I just want to point out that it is something that should be used with meaning.
Christian Praise is more than just a matter of words, it is a life-style. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you”.
There are 2 specific points that I would like to bring out in this passage.
It is God’s will that you give thanks in everything
It is God’s will that you give thanks IN everything, not necessarily FOR everything.
God wants us to praise Him no matter what our circumstances are because he wants us to realize that wherever we are, He is there with us. He wants us to relinquish the control of our lives to Him and trust Him to work all things out together for our good.
So remember, the next time you are in despair and don’t feel like praising God, do it anyway! Hallelujah!
Someone was asking me for the lyrics of the Christian Praise song “The Horse and Rider Song”. It’s very difficult to find this song on the Internet so I am writing the lyrics here for you and made a .wav file of my acapella version.
(click on the play button if you wish to hear my acapella version of it )
The Horse and Rider Song
I Will Sing Unto the Lord For He Has Triumphed Gloriously
The Horse and Rider Thrown into the Sea
I Will Sing Unto the Lord For He Has Triumphed Gloriously
The Horse and Rider Thrown into the Sea
The Lord, My God, My Strength My Song
Has Now Become My Victory
The Lord, My God, My Strength My Song
Has Now Become My Victory
The Lord is God and I will praise Him
My Fathers God and I will E-x-a-l-t Him
The Lord is God and I will praise Him
My Fathers God and I will Exalt Him!
(Based on Praise Scriptures from the Bible Exodus 15:1-21)
I am not quite sure how any of you feel about this but since this is a Christian Praise Blog I suppose it is a better place than any to discuss the subject of the Christians on American Idol.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, American Idol is a reality Television show which selects a top 24 amongst a large pool of potential participants. These people perform before an audience and then they are voted on via phone or text messages each week and the people with the most votes stay while those with the least votes go home. This continues on until we are down to only 1 which is then declared America’s Idol.
After each performance, the judges give their criticisms, usually very constructively, sometimes not. The Judges this year are Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Ryan Jackson and this year Ellen DeGeneres. We have been told that Simon Cowell will be leaving American Idol at the end of this season and they are looking for a replacement for him. Some people heard a rumor that it would be Howard Stern but Howard Stern told the media that it was just a joke and he had no interest in being a judge for American Idol. This means the spot will be empty and open for next season.
So, Is God going to be the New Judge for American Idol?
Keep reading and let me know what you think.
The contestants are between the ages of 16 and 28. These people come from many walks of life and most of them are not professing Christians, but we are seeing more and more Christians stepping up to the podium and trying to make it as the New American Idol.
I personally don’t have any problem with Christians singing secular songs and if they feel called to go into the secular field of music that is between them and God. I am no mans’ judge.
I must admit that I am not so comfortable with the term “Idol” because being a Christian we have a totally different attitude about idols. I realize that the secular world is using the term loosely for someone who can hopefully lead the top of the charts in singing. The better they sing, the more fans they get and therefore the more Cd’s and mp3 downloads will happen and bingo, they make money!
Is this vanity?
Is this really what God wants us to be doing with the talent He has given us?
These are just questions we need to ask ourselves, I am not saying they are wrong in doing it I am just questioning whether I would feel comfortable trying out for a job such as this.
You are probably asking yourselves, why is God going to be the Next Judge for American Idol?
I’m glad you asked 🙂
Last night, week 2 of Season 9, we had a few of the “Christians” up and one in particular stuck out big time. It was Jermaine Sellers turn and he didn’t get the most rave review from the Judges Panel. I can’t find his exact words but basically he said that he wasn’t worried because he knows that God is going to make him the Idol. Simon told him he would be surprised if he made it to the next week and Jermaine replied quite emphatically, “I know God” to which Simon replied, “I guess we don’t need to bother with the phone line then. (I wish I could find his exact words, sorry if I am misinterpreting this in some way).
My question then becomes, since when is God the New Judge on American Idol? There are other Christian singers on American Idol and I am sure that they too are hoping and praying for God to make them the next American Idol.
I personally think that this young man has his faith a little confused. There is no where in the Bible that states that God is going to give us everything we want. He is setting himself up for a big fall if he truly believes that God is going to pick him instead of any of the other Christians on the show.
True faith is believing that God is true to His word and that He is in control of our lives, but that does not mean that God is always going to work things out for our favor because we prayed and believed.
Yes, the Bible says that if you pray and believe that you have received it then it is yours, but it may not come around the same way that you expected it to. It’s back to the old story of one man prays for sunshine while the farmer prays for rain. Is God to be blamed for the weather? The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. Bad things happen to good people! Just because we are Christians we can not expect God to give us everything we think we want.
Maybe God wants to use this man in another ministry, maybe, for reasons unknown to us God doesn’t want him in any ministry. This can only be known in time.
If God were the New Judge on American Idol then wouldn’t it be fair that all of the Christians on American Idol won? People need to get their heads on straight here. If God has given you the talent for singing, Praise God! Use it for His Glory! Don’t get messed up with the things of this world.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Believe me, God has better things to do than to sit as the New Judge on American Idol!
Ever since writing the blog post on “The Horse and Rider” song I have had many emails asking me if I know of other Christian Praise and Worship songs in a minor Key. The funny thing about this is that after answering these emails the same question came up on Yahoo Answers and so I was able to answer the fellow there also. Who would have thought that Christian Praise and Worship Songs in a Minor Key would have been so popular?
To make a long story short here are the answers that I wrote to the query on Christian Praise and worship songs in a minor key on Yahoo Answers:
(p.s. I go by the name of Cyberscribe on Yahoo Answers)
What are some good Christian hymns or praise and worship songs that are in a minor key?
Best Answer – Chosen by Asker
“You Are my Hiding Place” is a lovely worship song, although it is a bit old. We used to sing it a lot at the church in the late 80’s early 90’s, but worship is not easily dated. It is still an awe inspiring song.
Here are some other Christian Praise and Worship Songs in a Minor Key for you:
“When The Spirit of the Lord is Upon My Heart I will Dance as David Danced” “Blow a Trumpet is Zion” “Awake O Israel, Put Off Your Slumber” “This is the Year of Jubilee” “Jehovah Jireh My Provider” “Through Our God We Shall Do Valiantly” (has a lot of minors in it) “King of Kings and Lord of Lords Glory Hallelujah” (has a lot of minors in it) “I Exalt Thee” (has some minors in it) “We Are Standing on Holy Ground” (has a lot of minors in it) “See His Glory” (has some minors in it) “When I Look Into Your Holiness/I worship You” (has a lot of minors in it) “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place” (has a lot of minors in it) “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” (has a lot of minors in it) “What A Healing Jesus I’ve Found in You” (has a lot of minors in it) “I Believe in Miracles” (has a lot of minors in it) “Give Thanks” (has a lot of minors in it) “I Sing Praises to Your Name O Lord” (has a lot of minors in it )
Well, I don’t know how many of you watch “American Idol”, but I do. Last night there was both a Worship Pastor named Jim Ranger, as well as another church pastor auditioning. I don’t remember anyone of the judges ever saying before that they think that a person’s position in a job qualifies them as talented or not. It’s NOT in the rules for auditioning. Since when did a person’s vocation (or religion) qualify as an excuse to not judge impartially? What happened to Jim Ranger?
The story begins:
Avril Lavigne was a guest on the panel of judges for the evening. Incidentally? She showed up wearing a hoodie with devils horns on the top of the hood.
It was time for a Worship Pastor to take his turn to audition in front of the panel of judges.
As soon as Jim Ranger, the Worship Pastor at a church, was finished singing (And he did do a fantastic job) Simon Cowell, who is always brutally honest, said that he liked the audition and that Jim had an authentic voice.
Next to take her turn to judge was Avril and she piped right up and said rather derogatorily, “You’re married and you have three children and you’re a Pastor? You know, to become a pop star, you know you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road…But, I do think you have a good voice.”
We can see right away that she is judging him, not on his voice, because she said she thought he had a good voice, but rather she judged him on the fact that he was a Christian Worship Leader.
It bothers me that Avril Lavigne would judge according to his vocation rather than his skill as a singer. The whole point of American Idol is to judge them on their singing skills, not whether they feel they can make it out on the road away from their family. I suppose we will chalk the comment up to her young age and forgive her.
When it finally came time to vote, Simon was first and answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”. Next in line to vote was Avril. She doesn’t even look at Jim but rather looks over at Carla (Judge #3) and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to say no.”
Sadly, Carla picks up on Avril’s negativity and agrees with her comment by saying very doubtingly, “I don’t know how you…um…really can do everything at once if you were to go through with this, how you really can be dedicated to your church.”
What I find strange is why, all of a sudden, are these judges basing the audition upon the person’s vocation rather than their talent?
Jim did finally get the 3 votes he needed to qualify for a golden ticket to go to Hollywood but, a very strange thing happened immediately after that on the show. Simon turns to Avril and says, “I love the fact that we’ve officially got a devil on our show.”
In my opinion, truer words were never said. How apt that it would be this particular night that a devil would condemn a Christian. It kind of gives us something to think about.
Have you noticed that there have been quite a few Christians who have been auditioning for American Idol in the last couple of years. The ones that stand out to me are David Gokey, Kris Allen and this year Tasha Layton and Jim Ranger.
I know there is a lot of talk going around about how Christians should not be going after fame and fortune but, on the other hand I see how churches expect their Christian Worship Leaders to perform their duties getting no recompense for doing it. There are people who say that they should do it for nothing because their reward is in heaven, but even the Levites were set aside to perform the work for God and were paid to do it.
I Chronicles 9:33 says Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.
Numbers 18:21 (kjv)
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (NIV)
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8. Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9. For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10. Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12. If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?
But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
In order to lead in Christian Praise and Worship we as worship leaders should be exempt also from secular jobs in order to spend time in God’s presence. How can we lead others into Christian Praise and Worship if we are not spending time with God in worship daily? I know some people think that to lead in Praise and Worship we just need to gather a couple of songs and sing,but this is not true worship. We are not to be the entertainment section for the church rather we are to be gatekeepers to the Holy of Holies…..okay so I’m going off on a tangent 🙂
I don’t understand how anyone can stand back and say that these people are wrong to try out on American Idol and hope to try to provide for their families. What they know is music, and they are good at it. If we don’t want them going to “the world” to make a living then maybe we better start considering how we are supporting them as a church.
Is it any worse for a Music Pastor to get a job singing non-Christian, secular songs than a Pastor who tries to provide for his family by working in the material world such as banking or politics etc?
I really think that we as Christians should stop judging what other people are doing to make their living and keep an eye on our own lives.