The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Read Chapter 15
Clement Of Alexandria
We can discover many counsels about other things, also, as about prayer, for example: “Good works are a prayer acceptable to the Lord,” Scripture says. The way to pray is prescribed: “If you see one naked, cover him, and do not look away from the members of your family. Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your garments shall speedily rise, and your justice shall go before your face, and the glory of God shall encircle you.” .
Wicked. Still unconverted, Ecclesiasticus xxxiv. 23. When they repent, and offer sacrifice with sincerity, they will obtain mercy. The Donatists abused this text, to prove that baptism conferred by wicked ministers was unavailing. But St. Augustine showed them, that Christ was the principal agent, and conferred grace, even though the minister might draw down judgments on his own head. (Con. Parm. ii. 6.)
Even pagans confessed, that sacrifices, without virtue, could afford no benefit. "God was more pleased with the prayers of the Lacedemonians, than with all the sacrifices of the Greeks "say the idolatrous priests in Plato, Alcib. ii. Seneca de Ben. i. 5.