Tips for remembering, recording and pondering a divine nudge.
Posted in , Mar 4, 2022
We all dream. We all have the capacity to dream. “But I never remember my dreams,” people often say. You can. Especially if you open yourself up to them. And just as God spoke to both Josephs in the Bible, you can listen for God speaking to you.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself hear God in your dreams.
1) Write Your Dreams Down
First thing, as soon as you wake up. Type them into your phone or scribble them down in a dream journal. Do the same if you wake up in the middle of the night with a dream. The scrawl might be hard to read…but it’ll be there.
Moreover, the practice of looking for and listening to dreams will become part of your daily—and nightly—spiritual work. Like anything with God. When we seek God, we find God. And God finds us.
2) Ponder Them
When you have your dreams stored in a place, like a dream journal that you can return to again and again, you have a record to pore over. Themes will emerge, symbols will repeat themselves. A tree, a song, a word, a beloved person. The unconscious made conscious.
3) Share Your Thoughts
You are the one God is communicating with in the dream. You are the final expert on it, God’s love letter to you. But to help you understand what might be there, find someone you can trust to share your dream with.
A friend, a loved one, your pastor perhaps or even an analyst who is practiced and trained in the work. They can ask questions to help you make connections you might not otherwise make. Maybe there is a beloved pet in a dream. You will talk about that dog or cat or bird or whatever it is. And memories, meaningful memories, will surface.
4) Pray Through a Dream
First thing in the morning I sit on our sofa and pray. Often enough, I bring up a dream that I had. “God, let me hear what You’re telling me.”
Dreams can be mystifying, complex, confusing. “God,” I’ll think, “why can’t You be more direct?” And yet it is that very indirection that can open us up. When Jacob lay his head on a rock for a pillow, did he ever expect to see angels ascending and descending from heaven? No wonder he prayed as soon as he woke up, filled with wonder, fear and awe.
5) Be Patient with Your Dreams
The best relationships in our life grow over time. We learn more and more about our loved ones as they learn more themselves. Just when you think you knew them inside-out, they’ll tell you something completely unexpected and dear.
Similarly, our relationship with God grows with time. In the last three nights I’ve had several dreams about Bible study and meditation. It feels like a nudge from God about how I need to spend this Lenten period of reflection and growth. To keep myself focused on the divine.