What is God Saying to You? (4): Listening & Praying Through Your Dreams

Memory Verse:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”  – Acts 2:17


Reflection

Last week I talked about the power of listening prayer.

Let’s go a step further today to talk about the power of listening through your dreams.

As I’ve said before, these teachings are culled from the book, How God Speaks to You. If you are looking for an in-depth understanding of the different ways God may be speaking to you, then please take a look at the book, and other resources that will guide you properly

In the book, I talked about several ways that God speaks to us. Today’s post is culled from Chapter 9, titled: Dreams and Visions.

In the scripture cited above (Acts 2:17), Peter was quoting Prophet Joel (Joel 2:28). He was saying that the prophecy of the Holy Spirit manifesting to us through prophesying, visions, and dreams was being fulfilled on that day of Pentecost. He was saying that today’s believer in Christ can receive visions, dreams, prophecies and other supernatural manifestations from the Holy Spirit.

Dreams are some powerful ways we connect with the spirit world to receive instructions for our lives, learn about evil plans, and strategize on how to protect ourselves through prayers, and wisdom.

Yes, God does speak to us through dreams to guide us on certain aspects of our lives.

Dreams are perhaps some of the most common ways God has communicated with humankind. The Bible contains more than 50 references to dreams and visions in which God delivered messages. That is why it is important for today’s believer to know how to respond to his/her dreams and listen through them for divine direction.

Joseph would have divorced Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but God sent him a dream, convincing him that the pregnancy was of God. He went ahead with the marriage.

After Jesus was born, God sent two more dreams, one to tell Joseph to take his family to Egypt so Herod could not kill Jesus, and another to tell him Herod was dead and that he could return home (Matthew 1:20; 2:13).

Isn’t that interesting?

Dreams played a significant role in establishing the very foundation of our faith. It is still a medium God is using to communicate with us today.


You’re Having Some Dreams

So long as you’re alive, you’ll have dreams and some visions. That you don’t remember your dreams doesn’t mean you don’t dream. Not remembering your dreams is in fact an attack that you need to pray against.

If you read the Bible very well, you’ll notice that rulers paid serious attention to their dreams. In fact, some had to recruit professional dreamers and interpreters in their staff. That’s because the dream world can bring powerful instructions that will save lives, win battles and create great enterprises.

I read some time ago that Larry Page, the founder of Google, got the idea for Google, the number one search engine in the world today, through some dreams he had. Imagine if he said he never dreamed.

The man who invented the sewing machine also got the sewing machine idea in a bizarre nightmare he had, where men were punching him with needles with a hole.

Research says that nineteen people had a dream of the Titanic disaster but nothing was done about it. Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his assassination but probably paid no attention to preventing it.

We’re all having dreams, yes. But may not be listening enough through them. These images may be revealing vital secrets about the prayers we are making, or the challenges we’re going through.

“When we’re asleep, we’re away from all kinds of distractions, worries and thoughts. The kind of peace and quietness we have during sleep connects us to the spirit world from where we’re able to receive spiritual directions and instructions”


Sources of Dreams

Many of us take to social media to share our dreams and ask for meanings, while others consult blogs and books that claim to give interpretation of dreams and visions. Unfortunately, many are being misled by the several interpretations they get from these mediums.

With a little work you can understand your dreams and know whether God is speaking to you through what you saw or whether you should thrash what you saw. You do not need to go looking through social media and blogs for dream interpretations because they may not apply to your specific situation.

Let’s look at the sources of dreams for a better understanding of how to listen to God through our dreams…

Dreams from Multitude of Busyness

Bad dreams come from too many worries, and too many words come from the mouth of a fool. – Ecclesiastes 5: 3 (Easy-to-Read Version – ERV)

It is possible that our dreams are coming from stress or our mind activities of the day. If you had an argument in your office during the day and in your dreams, this same scenario plays out, that’s probably your subconscious mind replaying what happened during the day. When you wake up from sleep, pray and surrender your mind, spirit, soul and body to the LORD, and renew your mind with God’s Word. That should be enough response to such dreams.

If someone told you about some bad experience, and in your dream in the night, you saw events looking really evil, similar to the discussion you had during the day, then that’s from multitude of busyness. Don’t fret. Read the Word and pray.

If you’re having issues in your marriage at the moment and you’re always having dreams of same situations, then this may be coming as a result of your worries. Before you can say anything specific, you need a mind cleansing first, and this can take some days, weeks, or even months.

My wife recently had a dream where a rat was fighting with her. Well, it turns out that there was one rat that sneaked into our house some weeks ago, and my wife has been trying to get this rat out, while it keeps sneaking out of her traps.

But here’s the thing…

This could be a result of multitude of busyness based on her day experience. It could also be a revelation from God telling her to pray against something. Usually, rats in a dream mean destructive thoughts or very close enemies. The only way to respond to this dream, however, would be to pray a bit more and ask God for a clearer insight into what should be done. If you go online to search for the meaning, you’ll surely get interpretations that do not apply to your specific situation.


Dreams from the Devil

My friend, Emmanuel, had a dream the other day where he was told to concentrate on the ministry without doing any other kind of work. He had started a ministry in his father’s compound and was trusting God for blessings, growth, and expansion. When he woke up he felt this dream was from God. And in all honesty, it sounded spiritual.

But after a few more days, and more praying, he had another dream where he was told that the previous dream was from familiar spirits who wanted him to remain poor and live a beggarly life. God was not against him doing minor things to empower himself financially while doing ministry. When he woke up this time, he was able to judge both dreams with God’s Word and realized that actually the first dream was not from God.

The devil can give dreams. Just as the Bible says, he can come as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and create a dream that may look spiritual to you. Many people have probably had demonic dreams that came pretending like instructions from God. Without wisdom and more praying they’re probably following the wrong direction.

Other times the devil can come in his real nature to create fear, steal, kill and destroy in your dreams.

My friend, Chris, had a dream where someone shot him. He woke up with a swollen stomach and became very sick afterward. It took a lot of treatment (medication didn’t really work) and severe praying for him to be healed.

If you’re in a dream and you’re beaten, oppressed, shot at, killed or engage in marathon sex, that’s not God. If you woke up from a dream and got really scared and convinced that yes, you’ll die. That’s probably a devil sent dream.

Yes, God may also be trying to reveal to you what the devil plans. But the only way to determine what to do is to spend some time praying over it. But not to just ignore it

If you had a dream where you died, and you woke up, don’t get scared. Judge it with the WORD of God. Locate a few scriptures regarding God’s promise for long life. Spend some time meditating on the WORDS and you’ll see that God really doesn’t want you to die before your time. Next, rebuke the spirit of death and claim the promise of long life for yourself and family.

We need to know that dreams can come from Satan. That knowledge will help us in our responses to our dreams.


Dreams from God

“For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave”  – Job 33:15

Just like we’ve discussed above, God does communicate with us in dreams.

My friend, Emmanuel, believes that dreams are actually one of the easiest ways that God does communicate with us. So he advises us to not discard any dream but to note it, pray over it and determine if we’re to drop it, act on it, or watch for it.

I recently had a dream that I felt was from my multitude of busyness. In that dream, I attended a wedding of a friend. I did not see the lady that was being wedded. I was also actively involved trying to make sure things went well in the wedding. I was running up and down asking people to do this and that.

As the reception commenced, I took the microphone to make an announcement. Then in a flash, it was no longer that friend that was wedding, but another friend. And I saw the first friend coming out to give money to this friend who was now wedding. Meanwhile, I never saw the face or faces of the ladies in the wedding. Then I woke up.

I shared the dream with my wife and we just laughed. I wanted to discard it, but then decided to pray over it. While I was praying, the Holy Spirit ministered to me that the dream was about my younger sisters. That God would finally settle them in their marriages. He gave me the meaning of each part of the dream.

Imagine that.

Meanwhile, my two younger sisters were both having problems in their marriages. We’ve been praying for months that God would heal their marriages.  So this was God assuring me that our prayers would be answered in His time and in His ways.

I think the reason most of us discard most of our dreams is that they come with images, scenarios, and faces that we can’t easily make any meaning of. But we should know that God does speak in parables. The books of Daniel and Revelation are filled with images, scenes, and storylines that we are still trying to understand today.

Some of the dreams that you have that come with images and pictures you find hard to connect the dots can actually be from God. Don’t just laugh at them and say, “this is meaningless.” Pray to the Lord for guidance and understanding.


Nightmares and Dirty Dreaming

One other reason many people do not pay attention to their dreams is that they think of their dreams as nightmares or dirty dreams. They may feel shy or terrified sharing the events in the dream.

In nightmares, one may find himself in scenes or movie-like events where he is unable to escape from danger; or in situations where they are suppressed and unable to move. They usually look very disturbing and rattle you when you wake up.

On the other hand, dirty dreams refer to dreams where one finds himself ‘doing it’ with the opposite sex. The partner involved may be someone they know in the past or present, or someone strange, but usually, it’s someone they are not physically involved with.

People may feel terrified sharing their nightmarish dreams or shy about their dirty dreams. So they simply ignore them, and since they can’t connect the dots, they may begin to suggest that dreams do not really have any useful meanings.

Some experts teach that nightmares and dirty dreams are caused by taking excessive food before going to sleep. Others say that they may be caused by the kind of environment where you are sleeping. For example, if you are lodged in a building used for occultism, witchcraft meetings and activities, etc., you may have dirty or nightmarish dreams.

O yes! This is right. These suggestions are correct and may actually contribute to nightmares and dirty dreams. However, there have been situations and cases where the above scenarios are not the case, yet people still have these kinds of dreams. They may be light and have spent time praying, reading and meditating on the WORD before going to bed, yet still have such dreams.

Why?

The point I’m trying to pass is this:

Don’t shrug off your dreams and say they are a result of excessive food or because of the environment where you are.

While those may have some contributions, dreams often speak of something much more different from the pictures, scenes, and activities of the dream.

One of my Bible School lecturers had a dream where one very popular actress was seducing him. When he woke up, he wondered why he would have that kind of dream. He was not a fan of the said actress, and in fact, had never met her before. This was enough for him to say, “I must have eaten too much last night.” But he decided to pray about it. While praying, the Holy Spirit inspired him that the dream is about ministers of the Gospel in elevated positions and places being seduced by the spirit of immorality. He was inspired to pray for these ministers.

Can you imagine that?

We may never know how many ministers may have been saved by that dedicated time of praying led by the Holy Spirit. But surely, someone out there was empowered to resist a demonic attack and protect the ministry somehow.

God can send you a revelation to pray for someone you don’t know. And He can send this revelation anyway He deems fit, not necessarily how we want it.

Always remember that dreams may not necessarily be about the exact pictures or scenes of the dream. If you can remember any aspect of any dream, do well to take a few minutes to respond appropriately so you’ll know if the LORD is giving you a message or not.


How to Respond to Your Dreams and Visions

The first and most important rule about listening through your dreams is this:

If you have a similar dream more than once, or twice, you need to pay serious attention.

The Bible says that God speaks once, but we hear it twice or more, and even still do not perceive what He is saying.

While you should not live your life basing it only on some dreams, it is vital that you listen to them and respond appropriately because great ideas, instructions, and leadings can be passed on to you from God through them.

1. Take Note of Your Dreams

My friend Emmanuel has a big notebook he calls MY DREAM BOOK. He says to write out any part of your dream that you remember, as you are more prone to forget your dreams once you walk away from them.

“Don’t bother about the meanings of your dreams immediately,” he says. “Just pen down any aspect that you could still remember. This way, if this is something God is sending your way, days or months later, when you go through them and others, the dots will connect.”

2. Don’t Seek for the Meaning of Your Dreams and Visions on Social Media

While this is not entirely a sin, if God is sending you a message, He is talking to you personally.  If you’re going to depend on social media interpretation, you’ll be misled.

Recently, I had a dream and searched for the meaning online. To my surprise, the interpretation was a very bad one. But when I prayed, deep inside me, I realized this was just from my multitude of busyness, even though it didn’t look like it in the dream. I had an inner witness in me that the dream was nothing to worry about.

Yes, people can attempt to interpret your dreams, but no one can actually interpret the exact message God may be sending your way. If you had a dream and I had a similar dream, the meanings will surely be different (in some way) to each of us.

So take it to God in prayer. He is the source of all wisdom. Even if you had demonic dreams or nightmares, when you talk to Him about it, He will give you understanding of what to do.

3. Pray About the Dream or Vision

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. – James 1:5

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. – Jeremiah 33:3

No matter the weight of the dream or vision you had, you can pray about it. Like I said, when you pray, somehow, you’ll learn what the LORD is trying to tell you and you’ll know what to do. Some dreams will require that you take action in that direction. Some will require that you just spend some time (maybe with some fasting) to pray over the matter. While others will require that you should either forget about it or watch out for its manifestation.

4. Always Judge a Dream or Vision with the Word of God

The Bible says that “the spiritual man judges all things, and does not subject himself to man’s judgments” (1 Corinthians 2:15, Emphasis mine).

We’re privileged to have the Bible, the judge of all things, with us. Always compare what the dream or vision is saying with what the Bible has already said. If a dream wants you to close your business and go all out for ministry, then you know it’s not God (even though it sounds spiritual), because God would not want you to put your family in danger of starvation. It may also be that the time for such action has not come and so you need to wait.

Always, always, judge a vision or dream with the WORD of God. The WORD must prevail.

5. Be Led By the Holy Spirit

The essence of listening through your dreams is so you will be led by the Holy Spirit. There’s a whole world of difference between having a dream and being led by the dream. When we have dreams and or visions, we must turn them over to the LORD and allow the Holy Spirit give us the right meanings and then from there lead us on what to believe, or do.

God relates to us individually and will lead us as we turn our dreams over to Him in prayers.


Conclusion

If you forget the overly long sermon I’ve posted today, don’t forget the following…

  1. We are spiritual beings traveling through the earth.
  2. You’re having some dreams every day, and God may be speaking to you through them. Even if you don’t understand them immediately, take note of all of them. Someday, they’ll connect.

Mother Teresa said:

“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.”


Prayers to Activate Your Dream Life

1. Heavenly Father, I pray today, give me the wisdom to listen through my dreams and understand when You’re speaking to me and what You’re speaking to me about, in Jesus name.

2. Blood of Jesus Christ, sanctify my spirit, soul, and mind today. Every wrong thoughts I’ve nurtured before now regarding my dreams, wipe them away, in Jesus name.

3. Every evil power that works in my mind, causing me to forget or lose my dreams, cease today, in Jesus Christ name.

4. O LORD, every dream polluters projected against me, I send them back to the abyss, in Jesus name.

5. Today LORD, I claim total restoration in every aspect of my life – my marriage, family, career, spirituality, ministry, business and relationship. Whatever I have lost in life as a result of jokingly or ignorantly ignoring dreams that God sent to me, by the Blood of Jesus Christ, I claim restoration today, in Jesus name.

6. I pray today LORD, open thou my spiritual eyes and understanding to hear what You are telling me through my dreams henceforth, in Jesus name.


NOTES:

1. Excerpts from the book: Prayers that Break Curses

2. Prayers from the book: Praying Through the Book of Psalms

3. Recommended Book for this month: How God Speaks to You: An ABC Guide to Hearing the Voice of God & Following His Direction for Your Life.

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Daniel C. Okpara is the author of numerous best-selling books, including, What Do You Have in Your House?, Parable of the Serpent, Pillars of Excellence in Life and Business, Take it By Force, Prayer Wave, and Many others. He is the founder of Better Life World Outreach Center, a non-denominational ministry dedicated to global evangelism and equipping of God's people to live a better life. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Prayers Foundation www.breakthroughprayers.org), an online portal leading people all over the world to encounter God and change their lives through prayer. He has authored over 50 books on business, prayer, relationship, and investment.

6 Comments
  1. Reply
    Thess May 28, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Great article, I enjoyed it. God is speaking a lot to me through dreams and even of things I wasn’t aware of. I used to dismiss it but now I know that it is one of God’s ways to speak to us.

  2. Reply
    Jemima May 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    This is so true. More grace to you sir.

  3. Reply
    Alexia May 29, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Thank you Pastor, very healpful! I need wisdom from God to interpret my dreams.

  4. Reply
    Alexia May 29, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Thank you Pastor, very helpful! I need wisdom from God to interpret my dreams.

  5. Reply
    Rahul May 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for sending me Godly material , i love them all. God bless you….

  6. Reply
    Veronica Mabry June 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Hello Pastor!

    This hit home for me because I would dream and wake not remembering, but knew I had a dream. Now I ensure I pray against the enemy tactics and I pray for protection of my dreams. God is definitely speaking to me through my dreams.

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