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If for some reason I am held up doing something until after the time that mincha must be done by and I have not davened mincha, is it better to daven mincha after the time it is supposed to be done by or should I just not do it? And also with shachris and other prayers, is it better to daven late than never?

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Aside from my answer below, hisbodedus - private and casual conversation with G-d, especially according to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev zy'a - can be done at any time. –  yoel Jul 23 '12 at 8:52
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@yoel, sure, but that seems to have nothing to do with the question at hand. –  msh210 Jul 23 '12 at 16:31
    
@msh210 it's just a bit of practical advice, but that's why I didn't include it in my answer. –  yoel Jul 23 '12 at 17:21

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Mishna Berura rules that one should not start mincha if they will not finish Shemoneh Esreh before shkia (sunset), but many rely on Rabenu Tam's time and daven considerably later.

I was told by my rav to omit tachanun if davening later than allowed by the M"B.

Shachris can technically be davened until chatzos (halachic midday) but it really ought to be davened by four halachic hours into the day - the "latest Shemoneh Esreh" time on sites like myzmanim.com.

Maariv likewise should ideally be said by halachic midnight, but can be said until dawn.

These are all the most lenient positions, and one should strongly prioritize davening at the correct time, only relying on these times in great need. Many authorities rule much more stringently. For practical halacha, consult your local orthodox rav.

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Yoel's answer describes until when one can pray. I'll just add that if one missed the right time due to circumstances beyond his control then he can usually make up the missed amida (sh'mone esre) by reciting an extra amida after his next one; e.g., if he missed mincha he can say two amidos at maariv. (This does not apply to a missed musaf (and I'm not sure about n'ila).) If, e.g., mincha was Shabas's and maariv is rosh chodesh's, he recites two weekday maariv amidos and includes "Ata chonatanu" in the first, which is for maariv, and "Yaale v'yavo" in both, since it's rosh chodesh. (All this is in Mishna B'rura 108 passim.)

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+1 This actually answers the question. –  Double AA Jul 23 '12 at 16:47
    
@DoubleAA thanks for the link –  msh210 Jul 23 '12 at 16:53

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