I'm not sure if this is in a hadith or a story of a Sahaba (I also read a similar story in Like The Flowing River by Paulo Coelho):
There was a devout man who once missed fajr prayer because shaitan made him sleep until late into the morning. When he woke up and realised he missed the salah, he cried his heart out and Allah (swt) forgave him and increased him in his rank. Shaitan came to know of this and the next day, he woke up the man up for fajr in time so that Allah (swt) would not reward him all that extra reward again.Yesterday was not so good, I mostly ended up sleeping all day, and missed out on precious time that I had set aside for important tasks. After I woke up, I thought about the above story that my mother had told me. How much do I regret missing a salah? And how do I repent for it? And when my iman goes down before it comes back up again, it's never because of my own measly efforts, but truly the blessing of Allah (swt).
How pure must that meal have been, Subhanallah! Just like fasting, ablution (wudhu) also has an inner dimension. "No worshipper perfects his ablution except that his past and future sins are forgiven." [Hasan, al-Bazzaar. Al-Haythami and al-Mundhiri agreed.] When a person gets angry, the Prophet (pbuh) recommends that he performs wudhu. Over the years, I have seen my grandmother and mother always go to bed in a state of wudhu. I think I often undermine it's importance, despite knowing so much about it.
Hadrat Fazal Ali Quraishi (May the mercy of Allah be upon him) would plough, sow, and reap his own fields. He would bring the harvest home where both he and his wife would prepare the wheat to be cooked and made into bread. The bread would then be served to the students in Hadrat’s madrasa.
Hadrat Quraishi had a strong work ethic and insisted on doing everything himself. As part of his noble habit, he was constantly in a state of ablution, as was his household. One day, Hadrat served the meal as usual in the madrasa and the seekers sat down to eat. Hadrat used to address his seekers as faqir, and so he said, “Oh Faqirs, for the bread that is before you, a field had to be ploughed and this was done in a state of wudu (ritual purity). Next, a seed was sown and cultivated, all in a state of wudu. The wheat was then reaped, cleaned and cooked, all in a state of wudu. Now that it is before you, my only hope is that you eat it in a state of wudu.”
However, an important point about doing wudhu is that water should be used discretely. We're only in this dunya to adopt the Sunnah, not exceed it. The Prophet (pbuh) performed ablution using one mudd, a measure equal to a handful of water and took a shower using one sa` (four handfuls). Some translations say 1 litre and 4 litres respectively. [I think we use gallons of water for showering!]
So, if you want your sins forgiven before you even make them, always be in a state of wudhu.