Hiya, and no worries!
Sorry for the late reply, just had a lot of backlogging in my inbox, but slowly sifting through!
I think it’s great that you’ve been reading into Islam, and I’d love to know what your updates are because you sent this more than a week ago I think.
What I would say is that it seems you have a perception of ‘rituals’ to be something negative, and I’m not so sure I would describe prayer in Islam as a ritual. It’s not something elaborated or exaggerated, rather it is something essential to our faith. And it’s very simple too, not difficult and it doesn’t take huge amounts of time, rather it fits into the day perfectly.
Firstly, just to clarify, prayer is a direct command from God, and not something created from our own whims. It is mentioned numerous times in Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet), for example Allah says in Chp 2, Verse 110:
“And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.”
Therefore we must understand that if God has commanded something for us, it is for our own benefit, for Allah knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what is best for us.
Secondly, our five daily prayers are not a burden, rather it is a freedom from the daily constraints, problems and worries of life, it is a chance to communicate with your Lord in a manner that you know He would love. This point is essential, because to others it may look like we are just performing some strange actions, but rather out prayer has been shown to us by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was the best worshipper, and we know that anything he showed us and guided us towards was towards good and to the Pleasure of Allah. So the best way to worship God, is the way he taught us, as that is most pleasing and approved by God.
The prayer also removes sins, if performed properly and with the right intention, and again there are many evidences to show this. For example, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said (Sahih Bukhari 505)
Abu Huraira reported: I heard The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, saying, “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.” He said, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah wipes out evil deeds/sins.”
There are countless benefits and wisdoms behind the prayer, but what I can truly say is that you will know the feeling and beauty of it, once you yourself place your head on the ground and prostrate, knowing that you are doing so only to your Lord, the Owner of the Heavens and the Earths, the Most Merciful, The All Knowing. It is truly a liberating feeling.
And Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (2:208)
Take note of this command and remember that if you know that the fundamentals and foundations of this religion are correct and that it is the truth-than naturally the building too will be sound in teachings and wisdom.
May Allah make things easy for you and bless you. Hope this was of help insha’Allah.