Prayer and Dreams that I Remember

A dream theme has weaved through my sleeping hours during my life. I’m in a dark, wooded, confusing area with a companion searching for a lost child. I first had this dream when I was about four years old and wondered later if it was about my older brother who had died before I was born or about my slightly younger brother. I had the dream again when I was about ten and wondered then if the dream was about still another brother who had been born the year before. In the most recent iteration (at least, that I remember), I was distraught as I searched feverishly for a child whose identity this time was known – my own youngest son, who already, even in the dream, was an adult. My companion, this time my older son Caleb, who had died in real life about four years before, did something no other companion in this series had done. He spoke to me. Caleb put his hand on my shoulder as I wept in my dream and said, “Daddy, it’s going to be alright.” I woke up, surprised but also refreshed. The four years before, beginning with my being quite ill and my mother having a stroke in the months before Caleb’s death had had some stressful and unexpected reversals. Somehow, his words in the dream gave me a sense of calm and helped me regain a sense of balance and confidence as I pressed forward.

Jacob, while fleeing from his angry brother Esau who sought to kill him, dreamed one night after he had stopped to rest enroute to hopeful sanctuary with his uncle Laban. The narrative continues in Genesis:

“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said, ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the durst of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:12-15).

God told Jacob, “It’s going to be alright,” a message that Jacob needed much more than I did when I dreamed my dream. Jacob awakened with a sense of fear and awe, with an awareness of having been in the presence of God. He used his pillow-stone to make a shrine to God and then prayed a prayer that is perhaps the best example of bargaining with God in prayer that is found in the Bible. I wrote about back that prayer and God’s eventual answer to it in 2013 in a post that you can read by clicking here.
I don’t understand the function of dreams exactly. I know that people in both the Old and New Testament have dreams in which they receive messages, sometimes encouraging, sometimes warning of dire consequences. I have read suggestions that dreams are our brain’s way of working out unresolved problems or that they are simply the result of electric activity in our brains. I suspect that they sometimes are more than just electric pulses. I know that my dream encouraged me and inspired me to move forward with hope. As was the case with Jacob, the dream has also inspired me to pray, although not to bargain. I have prayed thankfully for God having given me a daughter and two sons who have blessed my life even in their most frustrating moments. I miss Caleb but rejoice in still being able to talk with his siblings. I’m thankful for a God who finds ways to give his people hope in their darkest hours. May the Lord bless you and help you to find peace and direction in your life. I highly recommend the reading of the Bible and prayer to God as you seek answers.

  • Quotations from the Bible are from the New International Version, 2011.

O God who sometimes moves in mysterious ways, we wonder sometimes about whether our lives have meaning or if we may discern messages or direction from our dreams. I thank you for the Bible and the guidance it and mature Christians have given me during my life. I thank you for my children and pray that the two who still live and their children will be a blessing to all whom they encounter. Help me to serve you well as I continue to walk in this this “vale of suffering.” Thank you for the ability to believe, to hope, and to love. I pray in the name of Jesus, amen.

About Michael Summers

Michael Waymon Summers has preached in twenty-seven of the United States as well as seven other countries. Michael earned a Master of Theology degree. He also has done graduate work in international studies. Michael likes to run, loves to sing, and reads voraciously.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Prayer and Dreams that I Remember

  1. vickyday13 says:

    So sorry to hear about the death of your son. Praying God continues to comfort you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.