I actually believe that dreams can have deep meaning. They can give us insight into our past. They can even give us a glimpse into the future. I have actually awoken from dreams with nearly complete sermons. So I think dreams can be meaningful. I also believe they can be the workings of a late night concoction of pizza, candy bars, and grape soda. In other words, some dreams are just random movies in our mind.
Sometimes people fall asleep praying. Praying can lead to sleep. But what if sleeping led to praying?
I think God gave us the ability to dream, and uses dreams to cause us to think about things in a way we may resist when we are wide awake. What if we dreamed as freely in our waking hours as we do when we sleep? Or what if we found more meaning or purpose in our dreams upon waking up? I’ve tried to do that. Late at night, if I can’t sleep, I will start asking God to reveal to me who I should pray for. He knows what everyone is going through. I don’t. He may not reveal specifics of their situation, but He can and does impress upon my heart who needs special prayer. I’ve also begun praying for people about whom I dream.
Recently I had a dream, and several of my friends were in it. They were traveling on a plane and had informed me of their plans. But there was another one of my friends on the plane who did not let me know he would be stopping in Nashville for an extended layover. In the dream, I found out he was on the plane and decided to surprise him at the airport. While I visited with him I also gave him a friendly chewing-out for not letting me know he was passing through. The next morning I connected with Sean and told him about the dream. He let me know that coming to Nashville is on his bucket list, and he wouldn’t visit without getting up with me.
I don’t know how Sean ended up in my dream. But just thinking about him gave me a reason to pray for him. I don’t even know what is going on in his life that may require prayer, but God does. Dreams may be silly. But I choose to believe that God lets me see people in my dreams that I should pray for. I mean, who doesn’t want an extra ‘random’ prayer sent up on their behalf, right? I have awakened from dreams to pray for family members, friends, missionaries, well-known athletes and actors, politicians, etc.
The Bible talks about prayer a lot. It also deals with dreams many times. We spend a fair amount of time praying for our needs. But one thing we find in Scripture is, the apostle Paul encouraged people to pray for others. He wrote this to the Christians at Ephesus, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 8:18-19) In another place Paul writes that we should ‘pray without ceasing.’ In other words, we should always be in a spirit of prayer. What if we were to stop writing off dreams as weird elements of our life, and start using them as a prompt to pray for the people involved in our dreams.. as weird as they may be?… the dreams… not the people.
I would encourage you to not waste a time when someone is brought to your mind… even if you don’t know why they came to you. God knows. And God hears your prayers for others. Perhaps you have had a dream recently and you don’t know why a certain person was in it. Pray for them. I’m sure they are going through something that requires divine intervention. If nothing else, when you get done with this devotional, pray for me. Thanks in advance.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.