Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation

How to get started interpreting your own dreams – in the context of a personal relationship with God.

Do you suspect that God is speaking through your dreams – and want to understand what He’s saying?

Are you a Christian, looking for some biblical foundations for dream work?

This post serves as an overview of four stages in the process of learning to interpret dreams – plus a link to my digital checklist for beginners on which this article is based.

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.

PIcture of lady asleep on decking, with text: Anyone can learn to interpret their dreams

Introduction to biblical dream interpretation

As a follower of Jesus Christ for over 40 years, I have devoted myself to learning to hear His voice. I have read and studied the bible most days – and for the past 15 years have learned to interpret my own dreams under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I have written numerous articles about dream interpretation in this blog, based on my own journey and experience. I made many mistakes along the way, which I have learned from – but it has taken many years.

I don’t have any advantage over the average Christian in terms of my ability to hear God’s voice and interpret dreams, but I have discovered a way to work around that! They are things that any follower of Jesus can do.

I learned to interpret dreams by doing these things:

  • I took some training to give me a good biblical foundation for dream interpretation.
  • I kept a journal by my bed so I could record my dreams when I woke up.
  • I worked out how to organise my routine to make time for praying through and interpreting my dreams during the day.
  • I reviewed my dreams regularly to learn from any misunderstandings.

In this article I have given a brief summary each of these stages. I hope that by sharing my experiences you can be spared some of the mistakes I made – and be better equipped for the journey than I was.

4-stage process for learning to interpret dreams

I have organized the process into four stages:

  1. STUDY the basics to give you solid biblical foundations.
  2. PLAN to record and work on your dreams.
  3. INTERPRET your dreams and understand the symbolism
  4. REVIEW your dreams to learn and adjust your understanding

Many information sources focus on stage 3 (which is interpreting a dream) and on the meaning of dream symbols. Those aspects are very important, but there is much more to the process than that! Each stage is necessary.

The fourth section on reviewing dreams is vital if you want to grow as a dream interpreter, so if you really want to hear God through your dreams, don’t miss out that final stage!

I recommend starting at the beginning and working through each of the stages, using the digital checklist.

Picture of Beginners Guide to Biblical Dream Interpretation digital checklist

Stage 1: STUDY the basics

Every change of habit or lifestyle starts with a choice; a shift in mindset to decide to do something differently. So, before you even start to interpret dreams, it is important to settle the question about whether it is worth making that journey. Interpreting dreams will inevitably involve lifestyle changes, and some time investment.

Therefore, it is worth taking time at the start to settle any questions or doubts that you have and putting some proper biblical and spiritual foundations in place. This will also help keep you on the right path as you continue with the process.

At this stage it is important to:

  • Reassure yourself that dream interpretation is biblical.
  • Make sure your spiritual foundations are solid.
  • Take some good bible-based training.
  • Decide that dreams are worth your time and effort.

In addition to my digital checklist, I have compiled a summary of my favourite bible-based resources from other ministries. Many of these offer excellent books, courses and other training resources. Some offer free dream interpretation, and others offer a subscription to a community where you can practice interpreting dreams together.

Now is the time to make a decision about dreams: Are you going to commit to the journey, and invest time and effort into it?

Stage 2: PLAN to record your dreams

Once you have decided that you want to listen to your dreams, the next stage is to make a practical plan.

Not only do you have to plan to remember your dreams and record them in some way, but you also have to make time for praying about them, researching and storing them.

At this stage it is important to:

It is important to be expectant at bedtime and go to sleep with a healthy attitude and spirit. It is also vital to have a plan for recording your dreams – and to put practical provisions in place for doing it. If you don’t make a plan before you go to sleep, it won’t happen!

You need to record the right information, otherwise it can be frustrating when you come to interpret the dream later. I have a printable dream journal template available for purchase in my shop which includes both A4 and US letter sizes. Or, if you subscribe to emails, you’ll receive a free digital journal page as a thank you.

Picture of printable dream journal page

Finally, make a plan for when you are going to interpret your dreams – which includes thinking and praying about them. It may take a little creativity and life adjustment to make time for this! I recommend including dreams as part of your daily time with God. Treating dreams as an important spiritual discipline can make a big difference to your success.

Stage 3: INTERPRET your dreams

Once you have some dreams recorded – and have assigned time for thinking and praying about them, it is time to start the dream interpretation process – and have a go at interpreting some of them!

Learning to interpret dreams is like learning a whole new language. Dreams are like parables; they are metaphorical illustrations that speak messages about situations in your life. It takes time and practice to become familiar with the language and the ways God speaks to you personally.

At this stage it is important to:

  • Learn about symbolic language
  • Develop a dream interpretation method
  • Learn how to understand dream symbols
  • Know how to approach your own dreams

A key element of the dream interpretation method is understanding what the individual symbols mean. Much has been written about this subject! I have identified 10 simple clues for understanding dream symbols.

I have also developed an easy-to-remember 3-step dream interpretation method which you can read more about here. Below is a summary of that article which can be downloaded as a pdf for free by clicking on the image.

Picture of the 3-step dream interpretation method

Stage 4: REVIEW and learn

This final stage is often missed, but is the main reason I have grown as a dream interpreter over the years. Don’t miss this out!! Dream interpretation is a marathon not a sprint, and it is vital to develop a process that enables you to learn from your old dreams.

It is vital to learn from your old dreams.

This means taking time to record what the symbols in your dreams have meant for you personally. It also means reviewing the messages in your dreams with hindsight to see whether you understood them correctly.

In this stage you need to:

  • Develop your own personal dream dictionary
  • Store your dreams in an organised way
  • Review your dreams and learn from them
  • Understand patterns and timing issues

Managing your dreams is a long-term process. You will need to learn the ways God speaks over time, and how to respond when you don’t understand your dreams. All this comes with experience – so don’t give up!

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Image of website testimonial


This article contains an outline of a systematic approach to dream interpretation – from preparing to dream right through to reviewing your old dreams.

The four stages we have identified are:

  1. STUDY the basics to give you solid biblical foundations.
  2. PLAN to record and pray through your dreams.
  3. INTERPRET your dreams and understand the symbolism
  4. REVIEW your dreams to learn and adjust your understanding

If you want to pursue this further, my digital checklist contains links to over 40 articles, which expand on each of these stages in much more detail, with real dream examples. If worked through systematically, this guide will give you a good grounding in all four stages.

Picture of Beginners Guide to Biblical Dream Interpretation digital checklist

And finally… make sure to have fun learning to interpret your dreams!

If this blog has helped you get started, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

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Follow this blog

I hope you found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to emails to receive regular dream interpretation tips.

Dream interpretations

The purpose of this blog is to provide biblical foundations for interpreting dreams and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.

It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.

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Pay it forward

If you have benefited from my articles and/or my help with dream interpretation and would like to show your appreciation, please consider paying it forward to help me continue the work and bless others.

Thank you very much for your support!

Picture of jenny Needham, Heaven's Dream Messages, with text : Thank you

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Jennifer Needham disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.

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2 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation

  1. ALL of your blogs have been very helpful and thank you again for sharing from your experiences!!!

    Absorbing as much as I can 🙂


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