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What To Do When You Have a Bad Dream

Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep with your heart pounding, eyes wide open, terrified because you just had a really bad dream? If so, it’s important to know what to do if you have a dream like that.

First, recognize that GOD is not the author of fear.

He does not give fear at all. Fear is a spirit, not an emotion; and if you feel afraid after having a dream, one of two things has happened. Either:

  • The dream was actually from the enemy; or
  • The enemy is trying to tell you an incorrect interpretation (a fearful interpretation) of the dream, so that you’ll miss what God is actually saying.

So as soon as you wake up and remember that you had a bad dream, you need to identify the source of the dream.

To identify the source of the dream, pray and ask the Holy Spirit if the dream was from Him. (Check out the vlog I posted earlier this week, 10 Key Elements of Dreams and Visions, for more info on how to discern holy dreams from God versus dreams from the enemy, or from your soul.) And always compare the dream to God’s Word, the Bible.

Then, if you know for sure that a dream is from the enemy, rebuke it in the name of Jesus! Just say something like this:

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke that dream and every demonic spirit that inspired it, and I command those spirits and all results of that dream to leave me. Spirit of fear, leave me. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. I belong to Jesus Christ, and no weapon formed against me can prosper.”

If the enemy has attacked you in a dream, both the demonic source of the dream and the fear brought on by that dream have to leave when you tell them to go in the name of Jesus.

But there is a difference between a dream from the enemy–a true nightmare–and a dream that simply has negative elements in it.

I’ve had people come to me with dreams that really scared them. Sometimes the dreams have involved snakes, or being naked, or even simply seeing something happen in the dream that shouldn’t happen.

In those situations, every time, the person was scared but shouldn’t have been. The dreams each had multiple signs that they were from the Lord (full color; prophetic symbolism; and encouraging messages). However, each dreamer simply hadn’t understood the dream correctly. As soon as we talked about the meaning of the dreams based on Biblical symbolism, they were greatly relieved and even encouraged.

Remember that God does not give or cause a spirit of fear. Second Timothy 1:7 says:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

So fear is NEVER from the Lord. If you have a bad dream and it makes you afraid, then that dream is not from the Lord–or you are not yet understanding it correctly.

But why would God ever give you a dream with negative elements in it at all? Why aren’t dreams always about dancing through fields of daisies and singing yodeling songs? 🙂 Ahhh, therein lies the key to many things!

Here’s one of the most important things you can learn about dreams:

One of the big reasons God gives you dreams is to expose the enemy’s strategy.

When I was going through a lot of inner healing and deliverance, shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, I used to have a lot of strange dreams. Some of them were wonderfully strange in a good way. I prayed to see Jesus and angels in dreams, and He gave me several dreams like that. They were awesome!

But other dreams were strange because they had really negative symbols in them. For example, I dreamed about snakes a lot. I hated snakes! Yet, in these dreams, I would see snakes individually or even whole nests of snakes. Yuck!

At the time, I did not understand my own dreams. However, with the help of some godly mentors who taught me about dreams, I came to understand that the dreams were not nightmares at all. Instead, God was showing me how the enemy was tricking me. He was exposing the strategies of the enemy so that I could get free from them.

For example, snakes represent lies in dreams. All those dreams I had about snakes were actually God showing me the lies I had been believing. (And believe me–I was believing a lot of them. I was a very messed-up individual, and I had a ton of baggage to unload!)

But when God showed me those lies, He exposed the tricks and plans of the enemy.

And after He exposed those things to me, then I had both motivation and power to overcome those things in the name of Jesus. I was able to kick the lies of the enemy out of my life and replace those lies with the truth of God’s Word.

But none of that would have happened like it did if God had not exposed the tricks of the enemy in my dreams.

Some of you may have also had bad dreams, and you’ve been scared by them.

But don’t be! If those bad dreams were nightmares, then they were not from God. They were from the enemy, and you can automatically know that not a single thing in them is true. Rebuke those dreams in the name of Jesus!

And if the bad dreams you’ve had were bad simply because they contained some negative elements, look for the Biblical interpretation! God is showing you how the enemy is trying to mess up your life. Remember John 10:10, which says:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

So when God exposes the enemy’s strategies, He is giving you the inside knowledge you need to defeat that enemy!

If God shows you a lie that the devil is trying to get you to believe, you can counter it by fully embracing God’s truth (from His Word) in that area!

If God shows you something the enemy wants you to be afraid of, you can know for sure that God Himself is offering you the opposite of that fear–and you can embrace the good thing!

And if God exposes some sort of hidden trick against you in any other way, you’ll know to be on watch for it–and you won’t fall for it when the thing comes to light in real life!

God speaks continually in dreams and visions.

Dreams and visions are one of His primary languages. Huge portions of the Bible are made up of nothing but recorded dreams and visions! (Think of the books of Revelation and Ezekiel, for example.) 🙂 Therefore, understanding what He is saying when He speaks to us in this manner is crucial.

Later this week, I’ll be releasing some MP3 teachings about how to understand specific symbols in dreams, within a Biblical context. Stay tuned for that!

But until then, I’m trying to teach as much additional information as I can about this subject. So, if you have questions about dreams and visions, would you leave them below? I’ll try to answer as many as I can!

(Note: Please do not leave descriptions of individual dreams and ask for interpretations. Interpreting dreams can take me hours of study per dream, and I am not able to discuss the interpretations of specific dreams in this forum. God wants you to study out your own dreams! However, if you have questions about nightmares, bad vs. good dreams, and the general technique of understanding dreams Biblically, I can try to help with those. Thanks for understanding!)

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39 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post! But I rarely dream. At least, if I do dream, I remember absolutely nothing about them when I wake up. The few dreams I remember have been significant (as in dreaming a friend died in a car crash, and being told to pray for them, and waking in the morning to find they had indeed been in a crash, but had survived). But is there a reason for me not dreaming very often? I would love to further strengthen my relationship with Papa by having him communicate with me in dreams. Is there a way I can help this? Could something be blocking the dreams?

    1. Same thing for me, I would like to be able to record my dreams, but most of the time I remember nothing when I wake up in the morning.

      1. Just ask the Lord to help you remember, and keep a notebook and a pen by your bed. When you wake up in the morning, write down anything you remember immediately. Even waiting 5 minutes can make you forget … at least it does for me.

        1. So we put on paper any ideas or thoughts that we can remember and afterwards we try connecting the dots?

        2. Mary Rose Cabe says:

          I always woke up at 1 am and always have a nightmare today I dream a lot of dead babies

          1. Hi Mary Rose, have you had a lot of hopes and dreams die in your life? If so, that could be why you’re dreaming about this particular thing.
            Jamie

    2. Hi Amber, the best thing I have found is simply to ask the Lord for more dreams–to specifically pray when you go to bed at night, asking Him to speak to you in the night seasons. Also, be sure to steward your dreams by writing them down and studying them out. It’s required of a steward that a person be found faithful; if we are not faithful with our listening, we can’t expect to receive as much. So just pray and ask for more–and be sure to cherish (and thank God for) the dreams you receive. You will have more and more dreams as you do.

    3. Thank you for this article can you please pray for my boyfriend he is experiencing nightmares and I said the prayer above for him thank you Jesus !

  2. Hi Jamie,
    Thank you for teaching about dreams, so far I haven’t had a lot of relevant dreams (maybe I’ve had more but wasn’t able to discern) I had one back in February and I think it was a God dream but really still think about trying to figure out what it meant. Do you recommend any materials or books to learn more about interpreting dreams?
    Many blessings over your life and ministry. ?

    1. Yes! I’ll be releasing the first batch of my MP3 teachings about understanding dreams and visions today (in just a few minutes). I also recommend anything by John Paul Jackson and Doug Addison. They are both very good. 🙂

  3. I would love to know the general technique used to biblically interpret dreams if your not covering that in the MP3s. Blessings!

    1. I’m covering that in the MP3s … a little bit in each one of them! I’ll be releasing the first batch of them today, in just a few minutes. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your post. I’ve actually just woke up to a disturbing dream. The Lord led me to your blog. I look forward to hearing your additional mp3s. I want to understand what God is saying by rightly dividing His Word of truth.

  5. Thank you and this has been very useful and given me peace. I have sometimes been dreaming bad dreams which made me be afraid. But through some teachings I know rebuke any bad dreams whether I remember or not. Your tips have made me enhance my faith and I will no longer have fears of any bad dreams.
    God bless you
    Undule

  6. Flora Bassey says:

    Thanks Jamie. I had a dream of visiting a native doctor who gave gave me something to burn to alleviate my fears. While rushing off to burn the substance, i encountered a man who told me he couldn’t believe I just did what I did. That jolted me in the dream and I rebuked that action in Jesuss name. Then woke up.

    That dream rested on my mind the whole day. But your maill has helped me get over it. Thanks a million.

  7. I had something odd happen the other morning. The night before, we were visiting a downtown area where there happens to be a lot of sleazy characters hanging around. I felt very uneasy there and couldn’t wait to leave. The next morning in the wee hours…I woke up with such a heavy feeling of dread and it took some time to get back to sleep. I prayed for Jesus to help me get rid of this horrible feeling. Do you think this was satan at work on me? Thank you for your honest opinion.

    1. I think it was you noticing the evil spirit that hung over that area of town, and then being attacked for it afterward. This can happen sometimes, but it will happen less and less or not at all as you come to recognize what is going on, and bind any attack off yourself at the location (instead of at home).

  8. Rechie Caburnay says:

    Someone dreamed about us(me&my husband) carrying a baby and buried that baby with no pain or it seemed that were okay. That someone shared to me her dream and seemed to insist that we did something. She thought its a revelations since she shared her dream to my husband’s sister who had similar to her dream. And whats rare was my husband’s sister dreamed was about my husband who was in the mud and it seemed that my husband liked that place and there was a girl who was crying and kept on punching her tummy saying “because of this”.
    my husband’s sister was just sharing her dream. Im scared because i didnt want it to happen. I want an explanation about their dreams. I cant reject it because im scared. If it will happen. My question is, is it appropriate to share what have u dreamed to someone who is involved? Especially if it scared them alot?

    1. Hi Rechie, if this interpretation of this dream scared you, it was NOT from the Lord. Fear is not from the Lord. It sounds to me like either this dream is not from the Lord at all, OR if it is, then it has NOTHING to do with a physical baby and instead has everything to do with perhaps a hope/goal/aspiration that you may have recently let go of. But it is NOT about a physical baby. No way, no how. Don’t be afraid for your children or babies. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. And by the way – this person should never have shared this dream with you at all. Forgive them, but be careful what you let them speak into your life. I would not trust someone who would say such a thing to me, because they are clearly uneducated about protocol and proper dream interpretation and what God would say versus would not say to you.

      Blessings. I hope this helps.
      Jamie

      1. Thank you for sharing your answer about what i have asked . It is now clear to me and i understand everything now .. God bless you !

      2. Even if she is a believer of Christ Jesus? She told me that she dreamed it before we got married. And my husbands sister is a missionary but she (my husbands) never told her interpretation about her dream only that someone who insisted that it was a revelation because they both have similar about they dreamed. Is it okay if i share your respond to me to that someone for her to know and checked also if she will dream again those kind of scenario.. just a friendly reminder to her . Do u think sir, Is it okay?

        1. It doesn’t matter if a person is a believer in Christ or not. If what they’re saying doesn’t match God’s Word, the Bible, don’t listen to them.

  9. Atamnjah Joseph says:

    I have been having terrible dreams at night making love with different people some dat I know and some dat I don’t know

  10. I really need help on the interpretation of a dream I had, it had negative connotations and it’s constantly on my mind

    1. I would encourage you to watch my video on YouTube about dreams, Wole! I also have 2 MP3 teaching packages on my Gumroad store about how to interpret dreams and visions, if they help.

  11. Clifford Tegha says:

    Thanks for your great advice on dreams, Actually a friend of mine had a dream about me being in bed with serious pains and swollen legs. So please i will like to know what it could mean and what sort of prayers i can say after such revelations from another person. Thanks in advance

  12. Good morning. I listened to your vlog about 10 things to do after having a dream and loved all of the tips. Some I would have never thought to do like giving the dream a title. But where can I find info on taking the information I wrote down and discerning the dreams purpose or message?

    1. Hi Amber! Thanks for reading and listening! I have MP3 teachings on my Gumroad store about how to interpret those dreams and visions. There are 2 products–part 1 is all by itself and then part 2 contains several mp3s together. Here’s the link: https://www.gumroad.com/fromhispresence … I believe these will help a lot!
      Have a great day!

  13. Hello i have a 5 year old son that has been having dreams that are very scary for him . He says there’s a little girl he’s terrified of and when he has these dreams he can’t move his arms or legs only his head a little bit . I’ve just very recently learned he was having them and since i learned of them i have been reading stories about Jesus to him before bed idk if it’s helping or not as it said it was very recently learned of the dreams but I’d like to know why you think he would be having such dreams as he is very young and if there’s anything you feel that would help us to relieve some if the scariness of the dreams. Any advice is welcomed thank you

    1. Mandy, ask the Lord to give you revelation of what’s going on and if this is a spirit that is attacking your son. Ask the Lord to give you strategies so you can rebuke it. He is faithful and wants your child to have peace so I’m sure He will show you what you ask.

    2. Tell you kid he has total authority in the name of Jesus. If it happens again, tell him to say JESUS!

  14. Hi. I’ve been having nightmares lately, dreams of being trapped in a situation I can’t get out of, dreams of loud yelling voices which are frightening to me, dreams of danger. I’m tired, drained and dry. I would really appreciate prayer. I didn’t know I could rebuke my nightmares in the name of Jesus, I’m certainly going to do that from now on. I just want to rest in the Lord and find peace. Sleep would be great, but I really need God’s rest and refreshing.
    Thank you for all these wonderful resources you have up here and for the emails you send out. i’m learning a lot from you. God bless you.

  15. I had this dream of me loosing my teeths one after the other, and certainly I saw someone given me a warning that I won’t succeed in life.

    So I woked up and pray against it, I need more help on what to do. Thanks so much

  16. I had the most scariest dream and i’m so afraid and finding it difficult to not let it consume me. How to i channel my mind to think of the possitive and have more peace than fear?

    1. Hi Sibo, you follow the steps outlined in this post and also thank the Lord that the bad thing is NOT going to happen, per Psalm 91; and you speak God’s Word over yourself out loud until fear leaves and you are filled with God’s perfect love, and with faith and power–for God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind!
      Blessings,
      Jamie

  17. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement…. I really would love to know the different symbols and interpretations of symbols seen in the dream… Please I would really be grateful to you if you can direct me on how to go about it.. Thank you and God’s blessings upon you

    1. Hi there and glad you found our site. Here is a resource page to get started:

      Tattoos and Dream Interpretations Dreams

      Also, John Paul Jackson has done many studies and YouTube links on this. Enjoy!

  18. Anastasia says:

    Hello there! For a while I’ve been desperately asking God for dreams, I would really love to see anything about Him in a dream, either to see Him specifically or to see an angel or to see Heaven, anything that comes from the supernatural realm that would give me hope and peace, because I’ve been depressed for months now and I just really need to feel Him or see Him. One night I asked him for a dream and I felt really encouraged and was excited to see if I would experience a beautiful dream about God, but instead, I got a terrible nightmare about someone I love getting hurt and it greatly affected me. I then started to believe that either God isn’t listening to my prayers at all or just didn’t care whatsoever, and let a terrible dream enter my mind when I was so looking forward to something that would fill me with hope, peace, and love. It put so much doubt in my mind even about whether or not what I believe in is real. I battled those doubts in every way I could, I needed to feel his precense and yet I felt nothing, I felt so alone and hopeless, but regardless I still have faith in Him. I can’t live in a world without God, I need him in my life so badly, I just need to feel him, see him, hear him, anything! Was I wrong to ask for a dream? Why would God let a dream like that come into my mind when I had specifically prayed for something good and hopeful? Perhaps you can have better discernment and God can reveal to you what exactly is happening with my situation, and please pray to Him on my behalf to give me peace and hope in my life, because I desperately need it.

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