“We human beings have a natural aversion to carrying out acts of worship, like salah, because of our inherent laziness. If a man is hardhearted and comits many wrong actions, thinking too much of physical pleasure and mixing with people who do not remember Allah, then he can hardly perform his prayers, and if he does pray he does so absent-mindedly and hurriedly.
Every step of the way, man needs patience in carrying out an act of worship. Before he starts to o it, he must make sure that his intentions are correct. He should check his sincerity, and seek to avoid showing off in performing any act of worship. Whilst he is performing any act of worship, he must try to perfect it, to keep his intention pure and his mind focused on the purpose of perfoming that act of worship; namely to please Allah.
After completing an act of worship, he must abstain from doing anything that could corrupt his worship. Allah has told us:
“O you who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity in injury”
He should excercies patience in refraining from admiring and feeling proud of his performance, as this is more damaging than committing many other, more visible, wrong actions. Similarly, he should always be discreet and refrain from telling others about his acts of worship.”
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
taken from: ‘Uddat as-sabirin wa dhakhirat ash-shakirin translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab.