Would you like to hear God speaking through your dreams?
Are you wondering what you can do to help?
In this article we will discover some wonderful spiritual truths – with corresponding bible verses – that can be used as affirmations to prepare for dreaming; plus we will explore some bedtime practices and prayer pointers.
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
Why prepare for dreaming?
In previous articles we have considered some practical ways to prepare for dreaming, such as:
- Building healthy spiritual foundations
- Getting some good bible-based dream interpretation training
- Preparing to record your dreams
Initially, when thinking about this subject, I thought I didn’t really prepare spiritually for dreaming at all. I am the sort of person who just goes to bed and generally expects God to speak. I have been doing this so many years that I no longer doubt that God is going to show up in my dreams – and God does speak to me, night after night, in my dreams.
God speaks to me – night after night – in my dreams.
But I know many people are not in that place – and could probably learn from my experience. On reflection I can see that I have prepared myself for receiving dreams from God over the years. And there are some things you can do to help you get to the same place.
Meditating on Scripture
The bible encourages us to meditate on Scripture and the things God has said. One article describes meditation in the following way:
Biblical meditation is pondering the words of Scripture with a receptive heart, trusting in the Holy Spirit to work in you through the words.What is Biblical Medidation? Our Daily Bread, accessed 24 Aug 2021
There is great benefit in reflecting on Scripture and allowing it to shape our hearts and minds.
In this article I have compiled many biblical truths that can be used for meditation – along with affirmations, prayer pointers, and activities. All these can help cultivate expectancy – and readiness to receive dreams from God.
Preparing your mind to receive dreams from God
There are two main obstacles that I have experienced regarding my mind and night dreams. Firstly, I had to overcome the mental hurdle that God might actually be speaking to me through my dreams. Secondly, I had to choose to leave behind unhelpful thoughts and images that would sometimes disturb my sleep.
1. Choose to believe that God speaks through dreams
One of the biggest hurdles for receiving dreams from God is unbelief. Particularly in western culture, we have bought into the idea that dreams are only our subconscious mind processing things from the day, and they are not from God. If you believe that, then it will be hard to receive the things God speaks to you through them.
In Romans 12:2, Paul exhorts us to let our minds be renewed and transformed so we are in line with God’s thinking. God has always communicated to His children through dreams – in the bible and right through to current times (see my resources post for some recommended reading and my examples of dreams in the bible).
As a bedtime practice to help shift your thinking you could meditate on some of the following bible verses:
- Genesis 20:3, NASB God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night.
- Numbers 12:6, NASB …I, the Lord…will speak with him in a dream.
- 1 Kings 3:5, NASB …the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night
- Job 3:14-15, NASB Indeed God speaks…yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night…
- Matthew 2:12, NASB And after being warned by God in a dream… the magi left…by another way.
Meditate on these things until your mind starts to believe that God will speak to you in your dreams!
2. Fill your mind with good things
We have all had nights where our dreams are filled with images from the movie we watched the night before – or something else we have seen. I once spent a whole night troubled by scenes from Jurassic Park, and there are far worse movies than that!
In Philippians 4 we are encouraged to think on what is good. And in Colossians 3 we are told to think about heavenly things rather than earthly things:
- Philippians 4:8, ESV Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- Colossians 3:2-5, ESV Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Dealing with unhelpful images
If unpleasant images are a problem when you go to bed, you could try something that I do:
I take the image and pretend it is on a transparent screen in my mind. Then I picture a wet sponge in my hand, representing the cleansing blood of Jesus. I take that sponge and ‘clean’ that image out of my mind until it disappears. I imagine Jesus standing there instead and I invite Him to fill my thoughts.
- 1 John 1:7, NASB …the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
- Hebrews 12:2, EHV Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author of our faith and the one who brings it to its goal.
- Isaiah 26:3, ESV You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
If you want to receive dreams from God, then avoid unpleasant images that could hijack your night-time hours. Rather, fix your mind on heavenly things. Think about Jesus: ponder Him as you lie in bed; talk to Him; imagine His face in front of you.
Affirmations for preparing the mind:
- I believe God speaks through dreams.
- I believe God will speak to me through my dreams.
- I cleanse all negative thoughts and images by the blood of Jesus.
- I set my mind on heavenly things.
- I choose to fix my mind on Jesus.
Preparing your heart to receive dreams from God
In this context, when referring to your heart I am talking about your feelings. Do you feel loved by God? Do you expect Him to communicate with you? Is your heart in a place that is ready to receive from Him, or do you struggle with it?
Dreams are no different from other ways of listening to God – in that what you ‘hear’ very much depends on your heart posture! The writer of Proverbs encourages us to guard our hearts carefully:
- Proverbs 4:22, NASB Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
With that in mind, I have identified some truths, with corresponding bible verses, that will help settle your heart. Dwell on these things and let them fill you richly. When you feel loved by God, confident that He wants to talk with you, and at peace – you will be in a much better place to receive helpful dreams from Him.
Truth 1: God loves me
The foundation for receiving dreams from God is knowing in your heart that He loves you. When you know God personally as a good father, friend, and lover of your soul, then everything else flows from that.
Conversely, dreams are a great way for God to communicate His love to you! I wrote about that in another article: Experiencing God’s love through dreams.
If you struggle with feeling loved by God, you could ask Him to give you a dream that reveals how much He loves you. Before you go to bed, meditate on some verses about God’s love. Here are a few to get you started:
- 1 John 4:8, ESV God is love.
- Jeremiah 31:3, ESV I have loved you with an everlasting love.
- 1 John 3:1, NASB See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God.
- 1 Chronicles 16:34, NASB Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Truth 2: God desires the best for me
It was a big breakthrough for me when I first started to feel confident that God wants the best for me; I now know in my heart that He supports me and will help me achieve the things I was created for. It makes me feel safe and secure. Do you have that assurance?
Dreams frequently contain information about the personal plans God has for your life, and how He feels about the things that are happening in it. Being at peace with that idea, and wanting to hear God’s heart for you, are vital for receiving God-dreams.
Here are some bible verses to meditate on:
- Jeremiah 29:11, ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- 1 Corinthians 2:8-10, NLT No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.
- Psalm 138:3, NLT The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
- Psalm 37:4, NASB Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Truth 3: God wants a relationship with me
Dreams are essentially a way for us to relate to God – which is why I value them so much. Check out my list of dreams in the bible to see how many times God personally appeared or communicated to people in dreams.
In my story I share how listening to my dreams took me from not feeling like I had a very good relationship with God – to feeling like I was having a daily two-way conversation with Him.
If you want that kind of relationship with God, meditate on these verses and ask God to draw you into deeper intimacy with Him through your dreams:
- Revelation 3:20, ESV Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
- Psalm 27:8, NASB When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “I shall seek Your face, Lord.”
- Psalm 42:7, NASB Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have passed over me.
- James 4:8, ESV Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Truth 4: God will guide me
I think one of the main reasons many Christians get interested in dreams is because they are looking for guidance. That was true for me and may be for you too! And, if you look through the dreams in the bible, you will see that many of them are providing guidance and direction. The most famous examples are the dreams of Joseph and the Magi around the time of Jesus’ birth.
It can feel horrible wanting to follow God but not knowing what to do. God promises to guide us – and dreams are a way for Him to do it. Settle in your heart that God (your good shepherd) will use dreams to lead you, and reflect on some of these verses:
- Psalm 23:1-3 NASB The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need…He leads me beside quiet waters…He guides me in the paths of righteousness…
- Psalm 32:8, NASB I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.
- Isaiah 30:21 NASB Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
- John 10:11,27 NASB I am the good shepherd…My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Truth 5: God is with me while I sleep
Finally, remember that God is with you as you lie down to sleep. He is not far away; he is very close. He is protecting you and drawing near to you in your dreams.
Receive His peace and embrace His presence with you.
- Psalm 3:5, TPT So now I’ll lie down and sleep like a baby—then I’ll awake in safety, for you surround me with your glory.
- Psalm 4:8, NASB In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, Lord, have me dwell in safety.
- Psalm 17:15, NASB As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.
- Matthew 28:20, NASB I am with you always.
Affirmations for preparing the heart:
- God loves me.
- God desires the best for me.
- God wants a relationship with me.
- God will guide me through my dreams.
- God is with me while I sleep and in my dreams.
Preparing your spirit to receive dreams from God
I am convinced that when we go to sleep, our mind shuts down and our spirit becomes much more receptive to God and the spiritual realm. (I wrote more about that in Dreams feel like touching heaven).
- Song of Solomon 5:2, NASB I was asleep but my heart was awake.
Jesus said that we can connect with God through the Holy Spirit who flows like living water from within us. Therefore, if we build up our spirit and intentionally connect with that heavenly source at bedtime, surely it will help us receive from heaven while we sleep.
- John 7:38, ESV, Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
Here are a couple of ways you could do this:
1. Praying in the Spirit
Praying in tongues helps us tune into that flow of the Spirit from within us. I have discovered that I can also pray in tongues in my head after a bit of practice – which is useful so I don’t disturb my husband while he’s trying to sleep!!
Once I tune into that Holy Spirit flow, I don’t need to consciously pray in tongues anymore; I can just relax and let it bubble up in my spirit. Maybe you can do the same. It’s a great state to be in as you fall asleep.
- 1 Corinthians 14:4, ESV The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself…
- Jude 1:20, ESV But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…
- Ephesians 6:18, NIV And pray in the Spirit on all occasions…
2. Using worship
Many people find that worship music helps them to connect to the presence of God’s Spirit. I wouldn’t recommend listening to rousing music just before you go to sleep, but I do sometimes listen to a quiet worship song.
I choose a song that encourages my spirit to tap into God’s presence. Some of the instrumental soaking worship music available online can be very useful too.
After the music has finished you can remain in that quiet attitude of worship. Enjoy dwelling in His presence and peacefully lifting your heart to Him as you go to sleep.
- Psalm 71:8, NASB My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long.
- Psalm 27:4, ESV One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
Bedtime prayer pointers for dreaming
And finally…some bedtime prayer suggestions that can set you up for dreaming:
1. Make peace with God and others
Ask God to bring to your mind anything from the day that you need to ask forgiveness for, or that is coming between you and Him. Pray accordingly and receive forgiveness and restoration.
- Psalm 139:23-24, ESV Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
- Psalm 86:5, NASB For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.
Also pray and consider whether there is anyone you need to forgive. Choose to forgive and release them.
- Ephesians 4:26, NASB …do not let the sun go down on your anger
- Matthew 6:12, TPT Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
2. Let go of the stresses of the day and hand them over to Him.
Bedtime is not a time to drag up all your worries, or they could start going round in your head again! But If there are things obviously on your mind, it is a good idea to hand them over to God.
I sometimes imagine climbing onto Father God’s lap and handing over each worry, one at a time, into His hands. There are many ways to imagine letting go of those things. Choose one that works for you.
You could also ask God to give you His perspective on the situation in a dream (see point 4 below).
Then, actively choose to receive His peace.
After that, make a decision to think about something else; you could use some of the previous affirmations to redirect your thoughts and fix your eyes on Jesus.
- 1 Peter 5:7, NASB … cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.
- John 14:27, NASB Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.
3. Ask God to give you a dream
This is obvious – but often forgotten! Talk to God as you settle down and ask Him to speak to you in your dreams.
- Matthew 7:7, ESV Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
4. Ask God a specific question
Recently God has been encouraging me to ask Him specific questions and assume that He might answer the question in a dream that night. Numerous times I have discovered that He did! I wrote about that in the article Finding answers to life’s questions through your dreams.
So, consider what is on your mind and talk to God about it.
- What important concerns do you currently have?
- What has God been speaking to you about?
- What decisions do you need help with?
- What do you really, deep down, want to know right now?
After you have talked to God about it, you could even write the question down and place it under your pillow! Give it a try and see what happens.
- Jeremiah 33:3, ESV Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
5. Ask God to wake you up after a dream
And finally…you normally need to wake up straight after a dream to remember it – so ask the Holy Spirit to wake you up! I have done this many times, and He often does.
Once you are in the habit of waking up and recording your dreams, your body will start to naturally wake you up at the right time.
Summary of bedtime prayer points:
- Make peace with God and other people
- Hand over the stresses of the day
- Ask God to give you a dream
- Ask God a specific question
- Ask God to wake you up after a dream
We have considered many truths that can help prepare us to receive dreams from God – if we meditate on them and take them on board – along with corresponding bedtime affirmations.
We have also considered some ways to prepare our spirit, and some prayer pointers to use at night. Here is a summary of them all:
Summary of bedtime affirmations and prayers
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13, NASB
Plan to record your dreams too!
Remember to make a plan for recording your dreams and have the necessary items ready by your bed. You know it will take discipline to get up after a dream to record it – so make that decision before you go to sleep! Oh…and enjoy dreaming!
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