BismilLaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
The parable of the prayer is that of a running river in which we cleanse our hearts five times a day.
Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
مَثَلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ كَمَثَلِ نَهْرٍ جَارٍ غَمْرٍ عَلَى بَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ يَغْتَسِلُ مِنْهُ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسَ مَرَّاتٍ
The example of the five prayers is that of a river running at the door of one of you in which he cleanses himself five times a day.
Source: Sahih Muslim 668, Grade: Sahih
When we are preparing for prayer, we should keep this image in mind so that our awareness is focused on the goal of attaining a pure heart. Related to this inward purification is the purification from sin, as prayer is among the greatest good deeds for which we expiate our sins.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: A man kissed a woman who was not his wife and he came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and told him about that. The verse was revealed:
أَقِمْ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيْ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنْ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ
Establish prayer at the two ends of the day and in the first hours of the night. Verily, good deeds will do away with bad deeds. (11:114)
Source: Sahih Bukhari 4410, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi
This expiation is another way to view the prayer as a river, since it cleanses us from the sins we commit.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ، يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسًا مَا تَقُولُ ذَلِكَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ
If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on him?
They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet said:
فَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهَا الْخَطَايَا
That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah erases evil deeds. Source: Sahih Bukahri 505, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi. Allahu Akbar.
May Allah aid us through our efforts to offer our daily salaat on time and with sunnah ones too. Aameen.