Whether giving or praying, the great thing to be kept in mind is that we have to do with a heart-searching and all-knowing God.  Everything like formality, affectation, or mere bodily service is abominable and worthless in God’s sight.  He takes no account of the quantity of money we give or the quantity of words that we use.  The one thing at which His all-seeing eye looks is the nature of our motives and the state of our hearts.

Here lies a rock on which many are continually making shipwreck.  They flatter themselves that all must be right with their souls if they fulfill a certain number of religious duties.  They forget that God does not regard the quantity but the quality of our service. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), commenting on Matthew 6.1-8.

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