It must be affirmed that Islam is not a description that is inherited from parents only, so a person could remain a Muslim without offering prayer, fasting Ramadan, or practicing the other obligatory acts of worship.
Prayer is the basis of the religion, and there is no religion without offering prayer. It is the first act that a person will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment. If one offers prayer sincerely, he/she has established the religion and maintained it against corruption. On the other hand, if one wastes it then he/she would waste all the obligatory duties.
Prayer is the distinction between disbelief (kufr) and faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Between disbelief and faith is abandoning the prayer.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Imam Ahmad reported in his ‘Musnad’ (a Hadith book) that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) talked about prayer and said: “He who establishes regular prayer, his prayer will be turned into light, proof, and salvation (deliverance) on the Day of Judgment. Whereas he who neglects it, he will be deprived from light, proof, and salvation, and will be with Korah, Pharaoh, Haman (Pharaoh’s minister), and Ubay ibn Khalaf (one of the fiercest enemies of Islam its early days).”
Some helpful tips to keep on prayer
1- Resort to Allah and seek His help and guidance.
2- Stay away from sins and evil deeds. Once a man complained to Al-Hassan Al-Basri that he could not wake up for Fajr (Dawn) prayer, Al-Hassan replied, “You are shackled in your own sins.”
3- Accompany the pious and good friends who always guide us to the right way of Allah and avoid mixture with immoral people. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends.” (At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)
4- Preserve the congregational prayers in its prescribed times which is one of the greatest means that helps persistence on prayer.
5- Remember death, the questions of the angles in the grave, the life after death, and the Day of Judgment.
6- Realize the severe punishment for those who neglect their prayer which awaits the man on the Day of Recompense. Almighty Allah showed His Prophet (peace be upon him) the people who are punished because of neglecting the prescribed prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “So, we proceeded and came to a man lying flat on his back and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man’s head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before…the angel said to him (the Messenger): As for the first man, whose head was smashed by the rock, he was a person who memorized the Qur’an but refused to preserve it; moreover sleeps without performing the prescribed prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)
7- Strive to keep one’s tongue busy constantly with dhikr (remembrance of Allah).
8- Study the history of the pious ancestors and they were eager on prayer.