The Holy Prophet said: “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?” The Companions said: “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah annuls evil deeds.” (Saheeh Bukhari & Saheeh Muslim)

Here “evil deeds” mean the lesser sins. The cardinal sins are forgiven only after repentance and giving the people their due rights.

It is recorded in Mishkaat Shareef that once during the winter season, the Holy Prophet caught hold of a tree branch and shook it, causing its leaves to fall. He then said: “When a Muslim offers Prayer, seeking Allah’s pleasure, his sins fall off as these leaves did.”

The Holy Prophet has also said: “For the one who is regular in his Prayer, the Prayer will become a light, a guide and the cause of his salvation on the Day of Resurrection. Whereas the one who is not regular in his Prayers, will not have any light, guide, or salvation – and on the Day of Resurrection, he will be along with Qaroon, Firaun, Hamaan, Ubai bin Khalaf” – i.e. with the major infidels. (Mishkaat)

Another blessing of Prayer is that all hardships are resolved through it, and the offerer gains solace from it. Hazrat Huzaifah (may Allah be well pleased with him) says that whenever the Holy Prophet was faced with any difficulty, he used to turn his attention toward Prayer. (Abu Dawood)