I already gave some tips for dream interpretation in my previous series, Hearing from God through Dreams, Part 2 and Part 3, so to get the full picture, it would be a good idea to start reading there.
Here are some additional thoughts to help you:
1. Create your own personal dream dictionary. God communes with each of us differently, both in our waking hours and while we sleep. Although many symbols seen in dreams will be common to all of us, you will find over time that there are many symbols showing up in your dreams which are God’s personal way of speaking just to you. Events that have happened in your life and how you view certain objects because of those events are partially responsible for shaping what your dream symbols mean.
Get yourself a simple notebook, and assign a couple of pages in it to each letter of the alphabet. Then, when unique symbols show up in your dreams, and you unlock what they mean, write them in your dream dictionary. You will notice God using those symbols consistently in future dreams, once He sees that you understand their meaning.
Keeping a personal dream dictionary has vastly expanded my ability to interpret my dreams with greater ease.
2. Keep your dream journal as a file on your computer, rather than in written form. This will enable you to adjust your interpretations or add to them as your understanding about your dreams unfolds over time. Writing in a paper notebook could mean heavy use of Liquid Paper and finding that you have not left enough space for future notes on your dreams.
3. Don’t get so focused on details that you neglect to discover the main point of the dream. If you had to give your dream a chapter title, what would it be? That’s what the dream is about, and the overall main idea will help you decipher the symbolic details.
Getting bogged down in details and missing the big picture tends to be one of my weaknesses, and the next point explains one way I cope with it.
4. Talk out your dreams with someone. This works best if the person knows you well, understands how you tick, and is aware of your ongoing circumstances. It is best if he or she is also sensitive to hearing from the Lord through dreams.
As we talk out our dreams, and the listener asks for details (“What kind of a bird was it?” “What type of coat was he wearing?”), many times God will drop understanding into us just through that talking-out process. One small suggestion from a listener will sometimes trigger understanding of the entire dream.
My daughters are both excellent helpers to me in understanding my dreams. One is good at drawing out important nuances from the details, while the other is good at cutting right to the main point. I sometimes get so focused on the details that it is hard for me to see the overall picture, and her no-nonsense, “Mom, it’s another dream about _________” helps me get going in the right direction when I am stumped.
5. Although receiving input from others is helpful, keep in mind that since you had the dream, you are the best one to interpret it. What they say may get the wheels of your understanding moving, but their interpretation usually won’t trump yours. You may find that someone else’s take on your dream deeply witnesses to your heart, which indicates that God is speaking to you through that person. But if it doesn’t, then just let it fall away. You were the one who actually saw the dream, and you are the one with the life experiences which play into it. Other people’s understanding will be filtered through how they imagine your dream from your description, and the picture they form in their minds will not be completely accurate.
6. Positioning yourself to hear from the Lord through dreams:
Reading the Bible right before going to bed will prepare your spirit-man to be more receptive to hearing God through dreams. Playing worship music shortly before bedtime is another good way to prepare.
Think about the Lord, talk with Him, and/or pray in tongues while waiting to fall asleep. Prayer is our communication link with the Lord, and we know that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Dreams are one way He responds to prayer.
If you can awaken naturally, without an alarm clock, your dreams are less likely to be interrupted. (This is not possible for many of us, I know, but do it if you can.)
7. Watch for revelation to unfold over several dreams. Our dreams are often components of a continuous thread of information on a particular theme. Rather than looking at each dream as a complete story in itself, look for the big picture of what God is speaking over a period of weeks or even months.
8. Use the Internet to research what you do not understand. You may see things or hear words in your dreams that you do not understand or only vaguely understand. This happens to me both in inner voice hearing during my waking hours and in my dreams. I have learned to use Google to search out unfamiliar vocabulary which God uses in speaking to me. It is a way that He lets me know the dream or prophetic revelation is really from Him, and the full picture of what God wants to say becomes clearer as I do my homework on the Internet.
Do you have additional tips for hearing from God through dreams? Please do comment! You might be the one who provides that important key to help someone unlock their dream revelation.
Hearing from God through Dreams (2009)
Dream Interpretation: Part 1 — Intro
Previous: Part 8 — Spiritual Warfare Dreams
Next: Part 10 — Dream Q & A