Salam Dear Lora,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
As for the first part of the question, namely how you should make up for lost prayers, see this post from our Ask the Scholar section.
Therefore, the first duty of a Muslim is to be sincerely devoted to Allah Almighty.
For this reason, it is necessary for a Muslim to be constantly looking for guidance from the Quran by learning its verses and pondering over them.
This is the best way to get spiritually-enlightened, and so lead a truly Islamic life.
The same applies to hadiths too.
The Prophet’s life and his teachings always provide us with incentives and the inspiration to shape our lives within the framework of the Sunnah.
Our Duty to God
The Quran is a great reminder of our fundamental duty to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
We cannot afford to be negligent—even for a second, if we think about it—of our complete dependence on Allah for everything.
Every moment that presents itself before us is an immense treasure, and those who waste it, lose it for ever.
The Quran offers a value system that enables us to put all the varied aspects of our lives in order. As the Quran is divine guidance, it is Allah Almighty Who speaks to us as to how we must determine our priorities and concerns.
A Muslim who knows this and seeks to follow that guidance holds his or her duties to Allah as the first and foremost concern.
In other words, our duty to our God is the ultimate concern to which all other concerns and considerations are subject and subordinate.
Thus, to a Muslim, prayer, fasting, zakah and Hajj occupy the top of the scale of priorities, and a Muslim does not neglect any of them.
The point I want to stress is that you need to learn the Quran well so that you become aware of the imperative need of constantly seeking Allah’s guidance in all aspects of your life.
The Quran asks us to “establish” prayer, not to “perform” prayer, to keep God in constant remembrance.
Once we become attached to the Quran, we cannot look at prayer merely as routine or as something we do for the sake of doing.
That is to say, prayer then ceases to be a perfunctory task; rather it involves our body, mind, and soul in the most profound manner.
I hope the above words are helpful to you.
May Allah Almighty bless you and guide you in all your efforts in His way!
Thank you and please stay in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)