Worship is the vehicle that carries you into the heavenly realms.
Praise doesn’t do that. It isn’t the end, it is the beginning, the “process” of entering in.
One way to describe the difference is to use Palm Sunday when Jesus came to town. Had I been there, before he came, but knowing he was coming, I’d be shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord” dancing and being generally festive. I’d be taking off my jacket and laying it on the road, ripping palm branches off and making a carpet for Messiah to pass over. Laughing, crying, happy, the expectation of Messiah coming would create an atmosphere not unlike that of a child waiting on Christmas morning… exhilarating expectation.
As a cry went up that he was coming, the activity would have intensified, rising towards a powerful crescendo. The awareness of his nearness would have been almost palpitable. Then he entered into sight and oh! the cry that would have gone up.
As he came nearer and nearer, soon the colt would have been in front of me. As he stopped, looked at me and said “I love you,” my response of “I love you” would have changed all my activity. No longer dancing and singing, I would be prostrate before him, tears streaming down my face, proclaiming him my Lord and God. The crowd is still around me, still shouting “Hosanna!” but I’m oblivious to them. The only thing I see is him. No one has to tell me he is Lord.
Praise is the prelude to worship. Worship is moving into the state of being in the presence of the Almighty.
Praise… until the spirit of worship comes.
Worship… until the glory comes.
Then… stand in the glory!
–Ruth Ward Heflin, Glory: Experiencing the Atmosphere of Heaven