Many people in church have referred to praise and worship as a place and time. They are referred to as something a style of music or one takes place before the other. As if to say that one is a prerequisite of the other. Praise comes before worship. Worship is to the inner place of the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. Someone wouldn’t just go into the most important place without having some order before they enter in.
Moving into the most holy place, keeps God as the focal point of our worship. The place that the worshiper meets Him is an intimate place. There is a fragrance that is present much like there was in Jesus’ experience when he was anointed with oily perfume in John 12:1-8. The woman in the story did this as an act of service to her Lord. It was her way of offering all she had to benefit Him.
The follower of Christ must know Him and have a relationship with Him before he or she can do anything for Him. The follower must be with the master before anything else takes place. Praising God before worshiping Him is much like knowing Him before standing in the Holy of Holies.
There is order to being with Christ. Not legalistic order that forces one to look at their relationship with the Living God as a list of do’s and don’ts. It should be the thought that comes to mind before we get to the heart of the matter.
Praise is a choice that we make when worshiping God. Worship should be a natural desire, but because of sin it is not. It has come unnatural for us to worship and praise God. When we have had an encounter with God others should be able to tell that there is something different about us. There should be a fragrance about us that smells like we’ve been with the living God.
Praise God and worship Him alone.
Edwards, David M. Worship Three Sixty Five. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2006.