Joseph ‘the dreamer’ was shown his destiny in Genesis. Paul the apostle was given instructions for his missionary journey in Acts. Joseph was told to marry Mary, and the wise men were redirected away from Herod during the Christmas story in Matthew.
The Bible is full of dreams being used by God to influence people, but does it still happen today?
When the Premier Christianity team started to research the topic they found the answer to be a resounding ‘Yes’. Here are five of the remarkable stories we uncovered.
“I saw Jesus for the first time in a dream”
Faith is from Lebanon, although she now lives in London. She describes how a series of dreams and a vision led to her salvation
I only knew Jesus from what I’d been taught in Islam, that he is a prophet. I wasn’t searching to find out anything more about him but regularly asked God whether I could see Jesus the prophet before I died.
In my first dream Jesus was very big, covering the entire sky. I couldn’t look directly at him because there was so much light coming from him. I enjoyed being in his presence but still didn’t fully understand who he was.
When I woke up, the feelings of happiness continued although nothing had changed. I knew some people who were Christians; I met with them and they started telling me who Jesus is and that he loved me and died on the cross for me. I responded by saying: “No, I believe what I believe.”
I told them about my dream and they were very excited by it, exclaiming: “You saw him before anyone told you about him!” I replied that I still didn’t understand what they were telling me. However, I asked God: “If you are the God of Christianity, show me yourself. If you are God of Islam, show me – I want to know the truth.” I stopped praying prayers in Islam as they felt wrong.
I had another dream of myself walking a long way down a road, and heard a voice telling me to “read the Old Testament, Psalms and the New Testament, as they will tell you about my way”. When I woke up I wanted to know what they were so I asked a friend – she explained and gave me a Bible. I started reading it; to begin with I didn’t feel anything – it just felt like stories.
In my next dream I saw someone wearing a long black robe – he was a pastor. He asked me to go into a room and I said “no, no” but eventually I did. Inside there were twelve robes and the person invited me to try one on. I said “no, no” again as I was afraid. When I did try one on, it fitted perfectly – he said it was for me, so I accepted.
Later, Jesus appeared in my room in a vision. I was awake and had been praying again that God would let me know who he is. Jesus spoke to me, saying: “I am in heaven, and the earth and everywhere. I am the way, the truth and the life.” Immediately there was a great power like fire inside my stomach and I exclaimed, “The Lord Jesus is the Lord” – I could not stop myself – and that is how I became a Christian.
Faith travels around the world telling people about Jesus and has seen many miracles and healings as a result
“Jesus told me I was not a mistake”
Simon Trinder is an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He tells the story of how a dream led him to faith
I’d grown up in an evangelical setting; my parents had adopted me at 2 months old and they were both Christians. Around the age of 14, I opted to walk away from faith. I thought it was irrelevant.
I trained at drama school and thought my career was everything. I did lots of shows around the world and was having a great time, but always looking for the next high, drinking and dabbling with drugs.
In Stratford nine years ago, I’d come off stage after a very tiring show. That night I had the most extraordinary dream, or you might call it a night vision. It was a kind of a breathing image – so it wasn’t a sequence of events like most dreams. I was right behind the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, next to the river Avon.
I was standing watching myself as a baby in the arms of Jesus Christ, and in front was my biological father. I’d seen pictures of my dad so I recognised him and Jesus was presenting me to him. There was a glory light emanating from Jesus. The feeling was literally out of this world, the best way I could describe it is “nuclear love”.
I woke immediately and said out loud: “That was God”. I had experienced the point of life. The Bible promises we will be in his presence forever. It sounds boring, but this was wonderful! I thought, “If this is what he’s talking about, take me now. If this is what relationship with God is like at its purest, every knee will have to bow because it’s so, so phenomenal.”
I felt the meaning of the dream was “I created you”. As an adoptee I’ve had a lot of issues with belonging, like, “Who am I? Am I a reject? Am I a mistake?” Through the dream God was saying, “You’re planned, I put you here, I’m responsible for you.” No one would ever, ever berate themselves, or doubt themselves, or criticise themselves if they knew how valued they were.
A year later I’d started attending church, but was still thinking, “I’m a mistake, and I’m not good enough.” Driving down the motorway to Stratford-upon-Avon, I was praying: “God, please, can I trust this dream?” A car came right in front, the number plate was T-R-U-S-T. I literally stopped breathing for a moment. I felt I’d been spoken to clearly.
There were other confirmations of the dream. I got married in Stratford and one of our guests gave us a framed photo of the theatre taken from the church. In the photo, right in the spot where my dream was placed, there is a light emanating. I also later learned that my father’s Arabic name, Helmi, which was given to me when I was born, means ‘dreamer’.
Adapted from an interview on the Eric Metaxas radio show
“I was looking for Allah but I found Jesus”
Nabeel Qureshi was a convert from Islam to Christianity during his college years in the USA. His journey involved an intellectual quest, debating with a Christian friend, David Wood. Torn by the evidence for Christianity and against Islam, Nabeel prayed to God for a sign
I was at the foot of a hotel bed, and I prayed, “God, I don’t know. My eternal life is on the line. I ask you to tell me what the truth is. Provide me with a vision. Provide me a dream, anything.”
That night, as soon as I prayed that, everything went dark, and there before my eyes were hundreds, maybe thousands of crosses. As soon as they had come they had gone. I knew what had happened – I had received a vision. But I didn’t want to believe it! So I looked up to God and I said, “God, that doesn’t count! That could be my eyes playing tricks on me.” So I said to God, “Forget I asked for a vision. How about you provide me a dream? And if it confirms what I saw in my vision then I will become a Christian.”
That same night I had a dream. It was me standing at the threshold of a narrow doorway, just outside it. On the other side of the door was my friend David sitting at a table, and within that room were hundreds of people all sitting at tables, with food laid out before them, but they hadn’t started eating yet. They were waiting as if for a speaker to come and shut the door and start speaking. And I looked at David and said to him, “I thought we were going to eat together.” And without turning back he said to me, “You never responded.”
I woke up and immediately knew what the dream meant. That room was the kingdom of God and I was standing right outside the door. God gave me a dream that was so clear I did not have to interpret it.
A few hours later I called David and he said, “That’s right out of the Bible. Go to Luke 13.” I went to Luke 13, verses 23-29. It’s the people asking Christ, “Will many people be able to enter heaven?” He says, “Many will try to enter but few will be able. Make every attempt to enter through the narrow door. And people will be standing at the door and knocking.”
That’s exactly what happened in my dream. The door had not been closed yet. The opportunity to come into that feast was still there, I just had to respond. At that point I knew what I had to do. I realised that Islam was probably not the truth and that God was pulling me, kicking and screaming, towards the truth.
Adapted from an interview at muslimtestimony.com. Nabeel Qureshi passed away in September 2017 following a battle with stomach cancer. He authored the bestselling book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (Zondervan)
“A dream paved the way for my marriage”
Simon Page felt sure God had told him who he would marry, but the circumstances seemed to say otherwise
I always had a strong sense that I would be going to Bible college with my wife, but could never fathom it out. After the second time of meeting Solana, God said to me so clearly: “This is the woman who will bless you.”
Solana’s dad had a pharmacy store and she had a lot of work experience in hospitals. All her A-levels were in the sciences and she was predicted for Oxford to study medicine. It looked like her future was going in a completely different direction, so I wondered: “How are you going to work this one out, Lord?”
When I got an interview for Bible college I thought, “This must be it”. If I could persuade Solana to come on a journey with me from London to Nantwich for my interview at Elim Bible college, I thought she would fall in love with it.
Solana was getting rejections from colleges at this point, and couldn’t understand why. She began to wonder whether God might have something else for her – inside I was thinking: “Yeah, he has!”
I told Solana about the interview last minute and she said “yes”, but then realised she couldn’t make it because she had exams that day and wouldn’t be back till midday. My interview was around that time and the journey was three and a half hours. I was confused so went home and prayed. I had a dream that night and in it saw the following scene played out:
I called the Bible college and requested whether I could change my interview time from midday to a later slot so I could bring Solana with me from London. The receptionist said that they did have the very last interview appointment free.
I woke up and thought, “Oh wow! What a great idea.” I called the college. It played out exactly like the dream: they were able to give me the last slot.
What was intriguing was that her mother had prayed for years: “Lord, may the man that you have for Solana bring me flowers the first time he meets me.” As I drove to pick Solana up, I had an overwhelming urge to buy her mother flowers! I handed them to her at the door and she was stunned. Eleven years later she told us what she had prayed!
Soon after the interview Solana said she thought God was calling her to go to Bible college. We became a couple before we went to college and got married while there...
There was a glory light emanating from Jesus. The feeling was literally out of this world
“I have dreams that help others”
Rachel Frost has had a number of dreams, some of which have been specifically for others
I dreamt that I was doing ministry with some friends I know in America. In the dream the Holy Spirit moved and manifested in particular ways. People were falling over in the Spirit, laughing, crying and dancing.
The part of the dream that stood out to me most, though, was the fact that the person who was heading up the ministry never prayed for people alone; she used the time to empower and encourage the younger generation to pray for others in the power of the Holy Spirit. People who hadn’t heard from the Lord in years started to experience his presence. Throughout the dream there was a sense of his freedom being released right across the room.
When I woke up, I knew that this dream wasn’t just for me to receive. I sent a message to the person I felt the dream was for, who was over in America. She replied to say that she had read my message after doing three church services.
In every service the Holy Spirit met with people and manifested in some who hadn’t experienced God in decades. She also told me that in every service the Lord told her to empower others to pray, specifically the younger ones. All the people they prayed for in Jesus’ name were healed. It was so exciting!
This dream proved to me that God wants to speak to us about events that we may never be involved in physically, yet he still wants us to play a part in. It also showed me that however crazy a dream can seem, just like this one did, there are sometimes moments when God wants to speak directly to you about someone. He has a message for you to give and a prayer for you to speak out – even if it’s for another country!