Dream Interpretation Part 2

Last week, I blogged about the importance of dreams. I covered dreams in the Bible and some amazing dreams that people have had and how these dreams have helped influence society with their inventions, scientific discoveries, movies, books etc.

This week I am covering how to prepare for a dream and then how to document the dream. It is one thing to have a dream, but if you can’t remember it and don’t take the time to document it and uncover what the dream means, then you lose the full impact of the dream.

If you make an effort to prepare and expect to have a dream, it shows God that you are serious and that you expect and want to hear from Him. Since God is a good God, I am sure He will not let you down. In 1 Samuel 3: 1-10, we read about the boy Samuel hearing from the Lord. Eli ends up in verse 9 advising Samuel to respond with “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Imagine if our response to God every night as we lay in bed was: “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening and wanting to hear from you.”

Dreams are important as they help us understand more about God, His character and what He wants to say to us and why. Basically, it helps us grow in our relationship with God. When we catch this principle, we can look forward to dreaming at night, hearing from God and going deeper with Him. I liken it to giving me more wisdom in my life as it is a time when God speaks to me bypassing my rational mind. God often gives me ideas and solutions that help in situations and issues within the next day or so. Who doesn’t want that!!

Preparing for a Dream:

  1. Limit alcohol, drugs/chemicals and prescription drugs (eg sleeping tablets). The more alert your brain is, the clearer you can hear and see from God.
  2. Be careful what you watch and read before bed. If you fill your mind with scary movies or stories before sleep, then expect that that may influence what your thoughts consist of whilst you are asleep. Pray and cleanse your imagination.
  3. Sleeping atmosphere – quiet, relaxing, peaceful environment contributes towards calmer sleep, thoughts, and hearing from God whilst you are asleep.
  4. Have a device by your bed to document your dream. I use a journal and pen. Other people use a recording device (but I don’t want to wake hubby).
  5. Look at your attitude towards dreams. Be intentional and expectant. Show God that you want to hear from Him during your sleep. Confess any inner vow you have made re not wanting any dreams. This may not be applicable to you, but certain children I know have told God that they don’t want any dreams, as they had a few dreams that unsettled them. God will respect that, therefore they can’t expect at some later stage to have dreams if they haven’t let God know. In Luke 11:9, Jesus says: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” If we chase after God and all He has for us, God will reveal Himself to us. You will start to find that you have more dreams and you are more likely to remember them. It is not unusual to already be having dreams, but you are just unaware that you are dreaming. Once you intentionally try to remember and record them, you may well be surprised at how many dreams you actually have.

Recording Dreams:

  1. Record your dream as soon as possible after waking. I find that if I don’t write it down immediately, I forget the details. Often, I have woken up overnight, and as I lie in bed, I repeat the dream to myself so that, hopefully, I will remember it in the morning to write it down. Trust me, that is not very effective. I hardly ever remember them. I need to get out of bed, grab my dream journal and pen and go to the dining room and write it down immediately.
  2. You may find a recording device eg phone, recorder etc where you can quietly talk into it is helpful as you can stay snuggled up in bed. I can’t do that as it would wake my husband.
  3. You could try using a penlight etc and have that and your book/paper handy beside your bed.
  4. You may prefer to draw a picture that represents the elements of the dream.
  5. I start a new page for every dream. I write it down on the right-hand side and on the facing page I leave room for the interpretation. I always put the date at the top. I also give my dream a title. This helps me to remember it better.
  6. Record the dream sequence. Answer the questions who, what, when, where and why. In other words, list:
    • the main focus,
    • the plot,
    • any people and their names,
    • whether you are in the dream or an observer,
    • where it took place and the setting,
    • the time period,
    • key actions,
    • symbols/colours/numbers/animals/objects/images,
    • any dialogue.
    • Plus write down the overall emotion you felt during the dream and immediately on waking.

Dreams are an invitation from God to draw closer to Him and to come to know Him at a greater level. Dreams open up the mysteries of God. The word for ‘dream’ in ancient Hebrew is chalowm. Chalowm is represented by four different pictures. Water representing the mystery or the Holy Spirit. A tent peg representing binding/holding/joining something together. A staff representing authority or bringing something to you. A wall is also represented meaning that something is hidden or separated from you. Thus, a fuller understanding of the word ‘dream’ is that of the mystery that is hidden from you is being brought to you and revealed.

My next blog post will start to unpack how you interpret your dreams and how God uses metaphors so that you can have a fuller understanding of that which God is trying to reveal to you.

Remember Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation:  Over a family meal, share a story from the Bible about someone dreaming and the relevance of it. Then share a dream you have had. Ask the rest of the family if they have ever had any dreams. If so, ask them if they can remember any. If not, ask them if they would like God to speak to them that way. Buy a journal for those who would like one for them to record their dreams.

2. Group Activation: In preparation, ask people to bring to the group a dream they have had and any interpretation they have made. Ask various people to share their dream and interpretation. Spend some time in pairs praying over each other for their dream life – that they would dream more and be able to understand their dreams.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to reveal more wisdom to you during your dreams. Get a book and pen ready to record your dreams. Ask God to show you if there has been any time in the past when you have not wanted to dream and chat about this with God. Look at anything else you can do so that you can increase your dream life and hear from God during your sleep.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a business in your town that is suffering from the impact of COVID-19. Ask God to reveal to you what you could prophesy and pray over that business and the owner.

5. Advanced Activation: Find out the name of the person who owns a major media outlet (eg newspaper, television station, movie production studio) in your country. Seek God as to what He would have you prophesy and pray over this person and the media outlet.

Hearing God’s Voice (part 4) – Growing in the Prophetic

Three years ago, our 11 year old daughter was invited to have afternoon tea with the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. One of our first reactions as a family, after agreeing that we would do everything possible for her to attend, was to agree to draw (for the children) and write (for hubby and I) a prophetic word each for him.  It was just natural to think that way, almost ‘second nature’.

(Our children find it easier to express what they are hearing / seeing from God for a person by drawing a picture for them and writing a sentence or two of explanation.)

Several weeks later, I was amazed at the number of Christians who had commented to me that they would never have thought to write or draw a prophetic word / picture for him. This shocked me. Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity in person to do that. We didn’t include any Christian language. We were encouraging and strengthening in what we wrote and drew. We purely asked God, “how do you see him and what would you like to say to him?” and then we listened for God’s reply.

Reflecting on this later, I realised that several years earlier, we would never have thought to do it either. The journey we have been on over these last seven years has prepared us for this. We have specifically tried to take every opportunity that we can to write, draw, and speak prophetic words over people. We have incorporated it into our daily lives so that it is part of us. We have grown considerably in our gifting because we have practiced. I encourage you to practice and take every opportunity you can.

We have stuck to the basics of it being encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting. We have tried not to use Christian language but begin by saying, “I sense that…” and not using “God says…”. We have never spoken or drawn negative things. If we ever did get anything negative, we would change it to the opposite and speak the positive, thereby giving life to what we said and to the other person.

Basically, there are four steps to take initially to grow in the prophetic.

Firstly, practice, practice, practice.

The more you practice something, the better you get at doing that activity.

I love prophetic activations for this reason. Prophetic activations are basically some exercises that you can do to help you practice hearing God’s voice and sensing what is on His heart for a particular situation or person.

At the end of each of my blogs on this website, “Unlocking the Gold”, I always compose five prophetic activations. They include one aimed specifically at families or groups of children, another one for groups, beginners, someone a bit further down the track and another for people who consider themselves quite advanced and have been operating in the prophetic for a while. You are most welcome to do the whole five each week.

The individual activations will take about five to ten minutes to do. Some may take a bit longer eg twenty minutes. I have found with my children that they hear God immediately and they are finished within five minutes whilst I am usually still trying to work out what God is saying.

My first year at operating in the prophetic, I used to write 3-5 birthday cards per week. At that time, I was involved in a weekly meal to help people who were struggling with life issues, usually suffering from mental illness as well, and I would write encouragement cards and birthday cards for these folk, as well as cards for friends and family. On the left hand side of the card, I would ask God what to write, listen to what I felt Him saying and then write it down. At the time, I was busy with young kids and would set aside the 30 minutes during the kids swimming lesson to do this, putting myself under pressure to finish them in this time.

Every time I went to the shops or had a coffee at a coffee shop, I would make a concerted effort to give the cashier or waitress a prophetic encouraging word. I would usually begin by saying, “I notice that you are (and go on to highlight an encouraging character issue)..” It was during this time that I noticed my gifting developing so much. I believe that it was due to my practicing and developing it.

I encourage you this week to look for ways to practice. Look for the hidden ‘gold’ inside a certain person and try to bring it to the surface by asking God to show you how He views them and what they need encouragement in. Then speak it kindly and gently to them in an encouraging and uplifting way. Remember to only speak words that are encouraging, uplifting and comforting, not negative at all. Use plain, everyday English. A great way to start the sentence is to say, “I sense…” or “I have a feeling that….” or “You are a … person who…..” or “I notice that ….”

  • Whilst in line at the supermarket, ask God to give you a few words to say to the cashier that will encourage and speak into their situation.
  • Ask God for people’s names and then write an encouragement card/email to them.
  • Leave a card with a prophetic word on it for the postman.
  • Drop an encouraging prophetic letter into your neighbour’s letterbox.
  • Every phone conversation you have this week, determine to pause and ask God what He wants you to release to the caller.
  • Find creative ways of writing and drawing prophetic words for your family / housemates. Leave them where they can discover them and be encouraged.
  • Realise that every time you come across someone who annoys you, it is an opportunity for you to discover the hidden ‘gold’ in that person and reveal it to them.

Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

Secondly, intimacy with Father God

I have found that a hugely significant way to grow in the prophetic is to get closer to God. To become more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. The more intimate we become with all three, the more we recognise the subtleties of what they say and do and who they are.

God is creative and He loves us being creative with Him. Experiment with how you relate with God. Change the place eg go for a walk on the beach during a storm, take a hike, sit in a coffee shop, rest in a quiet place. Change the how eg put on quiet music and meditate on God’s goodness, read the Bible, fast, be silent, go out into nature and touch that which the creator has created, try creating a piece of art, etc

We become what we behold. Thus, we need to be careful at what we are looking at. What are we listening to and watching on the television or our social media? Who do we surround ourselves with that are impacting on our soul and spirit? What are we feeding our spirit, soul and body? If we are exposed to the glory of God, we will be transformed. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Thirdly, look at your true identity

I encourage you to go on a journey of discovery with God and yourself. Look at who God says you are. Discover your true identity. Find out how you are known in Heaven.

Explore the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself. God is a safe person and place. Be truly vulnerable with God and ask Him to reveal to you those areas you need to grow in eg any fears, shame, guilt etc. Spend time with God immersing yourself in being completely vulnerable with him and discovering what He thinks of you.

As you uncover your true identity and live that out in its purest form, the more likely you are to hear God and operate in an intimate manner with God. Thus, your prophetic skills of hearing and seeing from God will grow and you will want to release what God is sharing with you to others.

Fourth, take responsibility for your own growth.

You are responsible for your own growth. Do not expect anyone else to take this responsibility from you.

Some further ways you can help yourself to grow in your prophetic ability include:

  • Read books about the prophetic
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Find prophetic people and ask them to mentor you.
  • Keep a journal outlining the promptings you feel from God and what you have done as a result and the outcome (if it was apparent).
  • Ask a friend if you can record a prophecy you speak over them so as to listen to it back and hear what you say. Sometimes we can be shocked by how often we mumble or keep repeating ourselves.
  • Ask friends if you can ‘practice’ on them.
  • Find someone to have fun with on this journey and be able to spur each other on in your prophetic growth.

When you are intentional about growing in the prophetic and taking risks, you will see a huge improvement in your ability to give prophetic words and the depth of those words.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Place an assortment of Lego on the table and ask everyone to make something from God for the person on their left out of Lego. Set a time limit. At the end, encourage everyone to share what they made and why.

2. Group Activation: Have enough envelopes and slips of paper for each person in the group. Ask people to write their own name on a slip of paper, fold the paper so the name can’t be seen and put it in the envelope and seal the envelope. Gather all the envelopes and shuffle them. Pass the envelopes out so that every person has an envelope. Ask people to write on the outside of the envelope a prophetic word for the person’s name inside it. Set a time limit of seven minutes maximum. Ask people to then open the envelope and pass to the person whose name is on the inside. Let that person read what is written on the envelope for them.

3. Beginner Activation: Find a strong fragrance and take your time inhaling the aroma. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants to communicate to you through that fragrance.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to speak to you through an advertising sign. Ask God to also highlight a person or situation that it speaks into. When you realise what that is, communicate the prophetic word to that person using the advertising sign as a base or springboard for your prophetic word.

5. Advanced Activation: Find a house or business for sale that has been for sale for a lengthy time and doesn’t seem to be selling. Spend time with God asking Him what to pray and then prophesy over that house/business. Observe over the next few weeks to see if what you prophesied makes a difference.