Recently I had a powerful experience of how God gives us “signs” to guide our lives. The incident took place as I was walking along a road near our home at Ananda Village. Not paying much attention to the sights around me, I was absorbed in thought about a friend who’s going through a difficult test.


I had been praying for him, but during the walk I was inwardly asking, “What is the best way to pray for him?” Immediately my eyes rested on a road sign that I’d seen hundreds of times as I walked or drove past. It simply says, “DIP”.

But in that moment the letters jumped out at me, and the thought filled my mind: “DIP” stands for Detached, Impersonal Prayer. Here was the answer I was seeking of how to help my friend.

Detachment in prayer is important, because we need to realize that though we can serve as channels, God is the Doer. Seen in this way, it’s better not to pray for a specific outcome, but rather just to ask for Divine Mother’s grace.

I remember some years ago when my mother was diagnosed with a serious illness, and I began praying for her. I had a great deal of attachment that she would get well and also anxiety that she might not. My prayers were not very calm or centered.

One night I had a dream that I was pedaling a bicycle rickshaw up a steep hill with my mother in the back. Near the top, my mother laughingly jumped out and said to me, “You don’t have to work so hard,” and ran up the rest of the way herself. My mother did recover, and her disease went into remission, though she passed away some years later.

Being impersonal in our prayers is also important. When we pray for others, if we come only from the place of our love for them, it’s limited. But if we try to feel God’s vaster, more impersonal love for them, we can experience a greater flow of energy that draws divine grace.

My prayers for my struggling friend have shifted to reflect the answer I received. Through his “signs and wonders,” God responds to the questions of our heart and illumines our steps on the spiritual path.

With joy,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I recently have been praying for my best friend’s father, who is overcoming the darkness of alcoholism. Sometimes I feel anxious that he is stuck in patterns, and then when I release him to God’s hands I feel calm and I have watched him make steps in his healing. Also, I am able to be supportive to my friend in a calm, strong manner as I am detached yet engaged :)

  2. Wonderful – the sign, the dream and the story. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. Thank you so much Devi – Such a beautiful expression and reminder of God’s infinite mercy and inspiration.

  4. Oh, Yes! Your article reinforces what I have thought about…put it in God’s hands and keep my attachment out of it.

  5. Dearest Devi,
    Simple,… beautiful. Just like our God. Thank you again and again.

  6. Thank you again Devi…I wonder if there is a sign out there for vairagya (non-attachment)!

  7. Wonderful way to take inspiration from ordinary things. I’ve wondered about that myself. We don’t know enough to pray for what “should” be. We don’t know if an illness or injury is part of the plan for a person’s enlightenment or the finishing of all karma. But we know that grace always flows. So I have wondered if it’s good to pray for the person to become aware of the grace that surrounds us always and get strength from that instead of praying for some specific healing for another. A specific request might be missing the point.

    1. I believe that you are right — pray that the person feel God’s grace surrounding them in all circumstances.

      1. Thank you so much for that reply. I now feel so empowered and free to pray for others. Your blog entry was evidently the sign my understanding would be so much enlightened!!! I feel so blessed by your sharing.

  8. I love how God speaks to us from ordinary things! Thank you so much for your story. I so very much enjoy your blog.

  9. Thank you, this is a very useful letter. Its easy to fall in to the trap of deciding what we think we should do and praying we’ve made the right choice, or praying whether or not we should do it. Your letter reminds me that if we put our trust in god we don’t have to worry about working things out ourselves because we know that when the time comes, we’ll be given the opportunity to do the right thing.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this.. so often we are struggling with our prayers and now you have shared the wonderful way of DIP.

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