Praise be to Allaah.
If a person truly believes in Allaah, His Messengers and His Books, and believes that prayer is obligatory and is the greatest pillar of Islam after the Shahaadatayn, we cannot imagine that he would neglect to pray or be careless in performing the prayers. Rather he would never feel at ease unless he performs this important ritual regularly.
The more a person’s faith increases, the more he will be concerned to do that which Allaah has enjoined upon him, and this is also because of his strong faith. Hence the way to make you pray more regularly may be summed up as follows:
1 – You should believe firmly that prayer is obligatory and that it is the greatest pillar of Islam. You should realize that a stern warning is issued to the one who neglects prayer, and he is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, based on a great deal of evidence, such as the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Muslim, 82.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them is prayer; whoever gives it up is a kaafir.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; al-Nasaa’i, 463; Ibn Maajah, 1079; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
2 – You should understand that delaying prayer beyond the time when it is due is a major sin, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salaah (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaah (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell”
Ibn Mas’ood said concerning al-Ghayy [translated in the verse quoted above as Hell): This is a valley in Hell which is very deep and foul.
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites),
5. Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times)”
3 – You should strive to offer the prayers in congregation in the mosque, and not neglect any of them, knowing that praying in congregation in the mosque is obligatory according to the more sound of the two scholarly opinions, based on a great deal of evidence, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not respond, his prayer is not valid unless he has an excuse.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 793; also by al-Daaraqutni and al-Haakim, who classed it as saheeh; also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
Muslim (653) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: A blind man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not have anyone to guide me to the mosque,” and he asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to give him a dispensation allowing him to pray in his home and he allowed him that, then when he turned away he called him back and said: “Can you hear the call to prayer?’ He said, “Yes.” He said: “Then answer it.”
And there is other evidence too. See question no. 40113.
4 – There is the hope that if you adhere to that, you will be included among the seven whom Allaah will shade with His shade (on the Day of Resurrection), among whom is “a young man who grew up worshipping his Lord” and “a man whose heart was attached to the mosque”. Al-Bukhaari, 660; Muslim, 1031.
5 – You will earn the great reward for prayer, especially prayer in congregation. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man’s prayer in congregation is twenty-five times better than his praying in his house or marketplace, because when he does wudoo’ and does it well, then goes out to the mosque, only going there to pray, he does not take a single step but he is raised in status and a sin is erased thereby. When he prays, the angels continue to send blessings upon him so long as he is still in the place where he prayed, (saying), ‘O Allaah, send blessings on him, O Allaah have mercy on him.’ And one of you is still in a state of prayer so long as he is waiting for the prayer.”
Al-Bukhaari, 647; Muslim, 649.
Muslim (232) narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever does wudoo’ for prayer and does wudoo’ well, then walks to (perform) the prescribed prayer, and offers the prayer with the people or with the congregation or in the mosque, Allaah will forgive him his sins.”
6 – You should read about the virtue of prayer, and the sin of those who are careless or too lazy to pray. We advise you in particular to read the book Al-Salaah, limadha (Prayer – why?) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel al-Muqaddim; and listen to the lecture, “Limadha la tusalli (Why don’t you pray?) by Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Ya’qoob, as these will be very beneficial for you in sha Allaah.
7 – You should choose good friends who are keen to pray and pay attention to that, and keep away from those who are the opposite, because a person is influenced by his friends.
8 – Keep away from sin in all aspects of your life, and adhere to the rulings of sharee’ah in your dealings with others, especially with women, because sin is one of the things that most distract a person from doing acts of worship and increase the Shaytaan’s influence on him.
We ask Allaah to make us and you among His righteous slaves and those who are close to Him.
And Allaah knows best.