I'm looking for sources/inspiration about the importance of coming on time for davening. Not about being in the first ten, but just being there on time time. The more the better. Any help would be appreciated.
I once heard a true story (it might have been in one of Rabbi Paysach Krohn's books).
There was this man who came late every day to shul. One day the Rabbi asked him, "I can see that you come to shul every day, maybe you could try and come on time". He replied, "Who cares, the main thing is that I come in the end".
Several months later, the latecomer had a fire break out in his house. He frantically called the fire department who said they would arrive shortly. Finally after the house was ablaze for nearly an hour, the fire department came and managed to put out the fire. By this time, most of his possessions were burnt and the house was beyond repair. He angrily asked the firefighters who were on the scene, "Couldn't you have arrived earlier?" He replied, "Don't complain, the main thing is that we came in the end."
This person told his Rabbi, from here I learnt the power of coming to shul on time, for if I miss even one minute, I am unable to make up what I missed. Every moment is precious and it is a shame I didn't listen to your mussar and that I had to learn the hard way.
The Shulchan Aruch (cited below) gives directions to the one who arrives late to the synagogue and finds that the congregation is already at the end of Pesukei D'zimrah. On that paragraph, the Mishnah Berurah (cited below) writes that ideally one should arrive early in order that one needn't skip any sections. The Mishnah Berurah contiues to quote that the Magid (an angel who shared Torah with Rav Yosef Caro) urged Rav Yosef Caro to arrive early to synagogue in order to pray all parts of the service in order, with no skipping. The Magid explained that the one who skips is mehapech hatzinoros. This contributor understands that to mean that the metaphysical channels through which our prayers ascend are disturbed.
כ' שו"ע (או"ח נב:א) אם בא לבהכ"נ ומצא צבור בסוף פסוקי דזמרה וכו' וכ' מ"ב (סק"א) אבל לכתחלה ראוי לבוא לבהכ"נ בהשכמה כדי שלא יצטרך לדלג כי כתבו הספרים שהמגיד הזהיר לבית יוסף לבוא לבהכ"נ בהשכמה כדי שיוכל להתפלל כסדר ולא בדילוג כי העושה כן מהפך הצינורות
A quote from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:4 (at the end):
עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה לַעֲבוֹדַת מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לְהִזָּהֵר לָקוּם בִמְהִירוּת וּבִזְרִיזוּת. וְהַמַּרְגִּיל אֶת עַצְמוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה אַרְבַּע אוֹ חָמֵשׁ פְּעָמִים, לֹא יִכְבַּד עָלָיו אַחַר כָּךְ. וְהַבָּא לִטָּהֵר, מְסַיְּעִין לוֹ (סדר היום וסדור דֶּרֶךְ הַחַיִּים). ...How much more so should this apply for the service of the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He, that you should be concerned to rise quickly and with alacrity. Once you accustom yourself to this practice four or five times you will no longer find it difficult, [as our Sages have said:] "He who makes an effort to purify himself is [Divinely] assisted in his efforts."
See masechet shabbos 119b where the Gemara states that “one who answers amen with all his might has the gates of Gan Eden opened for him” and one who answers yehei shmei rabba has evil decrees torn up even if he has the misdeed of idol worship”. One who comes late to davening will likely miss out on numerous opportunities to answer amen and yehei shmei. People are often trying to find segulot for health, wealth, etc. people will pay thousands of dollars for pesicha at Neila or Maftir yona because it is stated as a segula in some seforim, yet the most basic ‘segulos’ that are stated in the Talmud are tread upon. If you could inspire a person to appreciate the opportunity that every amen presents, it will hopefully motivate to come to davening on time.