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What Are Prophetic Dreams?

6 Mins read

A prophetic dream is essentially when you have a dream that predicts the future. In general, our dreams can deliver important messages, clues, or keys. Prophetic dreams often include images, visions, sounds, objects, people or messages that are coming in the future, as these dreams are a glimpse into the future. 

Why are these future-predicting dreams called prophetic dreams? A “prophet” is a person who predicts the future, and a “prophecy” is another word for a “prediction”.

Sometimes, when you experience the phenomenon of ‘deja vu’, it’s because you’ve already dreamed about this event. This often happens to people who do not remember their prophetic dreams or keep a dream journal, but the event taking place feels oddly familiar.

Theories About Why Prophetic Dreams Happen

Several different theories can explain prophetic dreams. Many people believe that on some level, we intuitively know something that’s coming in the future, and our subconscious foretells these events through our dreams. Your intuition is often powerful enough to come through for you via a prophetic dream.

Oprah Magazine explains, “Dreams are such a powerful form of intuition because they bypass the ego and the linear mind to offer clear intuitive information.”

If you have a prophetic dream, it could be a sign that someone or something is coming into your life – or that someone or something is meant for you. It could also be a warning message, a message of guidance or direction, or a dream about an important decision you’re going to have to make.

Have you ever had a dream so real that you woke from it convinced you’d seen a vision, and felt that you may have dreamt something that was coming? Write it down in your dream journal, because if anything similar to your dream happens in your real life, your dream journal can validate that you had a prophetic dream

Other theories about why prophetic dreams happen are religious theories. For example, Christians believe that God sometimes sends messages to people through dreams. Although remembering dreams can be hazy and confusing, you can make sense of your dreams if you take the time to analyze them.

Not everyone who believes in prophetic dreams are religious. I personally feel that intuitives can sometimes dream of future events. However, some of the most prominent people in the Bible had prophetic dreams that affected their lives. Joseph dreamed that his brothers would bow down to him, and it came true (Genesis 37:9). Pharaoh dreamed of seven cows eating seven other cows, and when the cows were eaten, they became seven fat cows. This dream is a sign from God that there will be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 41:1–36).

In your dreams, you can receive information about the past, present, and future. Dreams have been used to plan events in history. For example, in 1863, President Lincoln went to bed saying he had a dream that a great nation would be destroyed if it attempted to divide itself into two separate countries. The following day he received news that a civil war had started in America.

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What Do Prophetic Dreams Entail?

Prophetic dreams are vivid, visual, powerful, and personal. They are not random or meaningless coincidences. In this dream, you are often being asked or guided to make a decision, perhaps one that is difficult for you. You may not feel capable or adequate for this task. You can use your prophetic dream to get a better sense of what decision to make, based on what your subconscious is clearly leaning towards. 

Prophetic dreams often contain symbols or specific people. The message in the dream is in the interpretation of the symbol, or a significant event involving the person in the dream. When it comes to symbols in your dreams, to understand the message, you need to figure out the meaning of the symbols.

  1. Warnings of impending danger. A dream may warn you of any kind of danger: financial, physical, emotional or spiritual. You may dream that you are in a turbulent sea or that you are on a ship that is sinking. You see the water washing over your body, and you strain to keep yourself afloat. This may mean that you are about to get sick or lose your job. Dreaming that you’re being submerged in water could symbolize struggle, and your dreams are warning you to prepare.
  2. Guidance about decisions. When you’re faced with an important decision, your subconscious may provide wisdom or advice through a prophetic dream. Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s time for a career change, or a move to a different city. Maybe you’ve discovered a new passion – and you don’t know how to pursue it. Guidance about your next steps could be revealed in a dream. Your subconscious is working hard while you sleep, to help you make the correct decision for your future.
  3. Directional dreams. In a directional prophetic dream, your dream is guiding you to follow a specific path or direction in life. Your subconscious is attempting to steer you in the right direction. This often happens when people feel stuck in life or lost, and your subconscious is telling you that it’s time to get moving in a certain direction. These types of dreams often predict change, and help subconsciously move us towards that change. 

4. Telepathic dreams. This type of dream occurs when a message needs to be urgently delivered between one dreamer and another. Sometimes, the message delivered in the dream is a message that will truly be delivered at some point in the future.

How Common are Prophetic Dreams?

While many people are sceptical of prophetic dreams, regular people often report having dreamt the future. The Bible does also record prophetic dream scenarios, and there are countless testimonies of people who have had dreams that were divine encounters. The fact is, it’s easier to be responsive to dreams while we sleep. That’s because we’re relaxed—we don’t have to try to be receptive consciously, and it also reduces the potential for stress and fear. If we aren’t resisting what we might hear or see, we can see or feel the dream more clearly.

In addition, if you’ve been asking the universe a certain question, or praying for specific things before going to bed, you’ll be more likely to receive specific answers while you dream. Based on this, if you’ve been praying for a new job, you might have a dream that includes a conversation with the person who could help you land that ideal job. Suppose your prayers have centred on how to handle a situation in your marriage or family relationship. In that case, you might have a vision in a dream that offers a solution to your problems.

Prophetic dreams can happen to anyone, and often go unreported as most people don’t talk about their dreams or keep a dream journal. 

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What Should You Do if You Experience a Prophetic Dream?

Prophetic dreams can be very vivid and can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The best way to document them is to keep a dream journal and see if any of your dreams really did predict a future event.

Prophetic dreams might be challenging to understand because the message is blurred with symbolism. If you experience what you think is a prophetic dream, it’s often difficult to decipher exactly what the dream means. Even dreams that seem like instructions may simply be your subconscious mind’s interpretation of your heart’s desires. 

Some people dream of getting back together with an ex, for example, simply because that’s what their heart desires. If this type of dream comes true, it’s likely that you simply followed your heart and listened to your subconscious desires that were emphasized in a dream.

Sometimes, your prophetic dreams might be about someone else. Perhaps someone you know is in trouble, and your dream is guiding you to get in touch with that person and offer support. 

If you have experienced a prophetic dream, you should write it down before you forget it. Afterwards, try your best to interpret the dream’s meaning, so that you’ll better understand what your dream might be foretelling.

Did a potentially prophetic dream disturb you? If what happened in your dream was disturbing or upsetting, speak to a counsellor about it. Your dreams hold a lot of wisdom about your subconscious mind, and especially your fears. 

Even when a dream doesn’t seem prophetic in nature, it may be wiser to write it down anyway. Dreams may not seem important at first, but they sometimes show up in our lives later—sometimes years later. A forgotten dream may seem entirely irrelevant for years, then suddenly what happened in the dream occurs in real life. 

Final Thoughts

The idea of having prophetic dreams can feel overwhelming for some people or intriguing for others. First of all, it’s not something many people have experienced before – at least that they can remember. If you have had a dream that comes true later, it can feel scary for some people or mystifying for others. 

The most important thing to remember is that your dreams can guide you. This is because they’re created by your subconscious desires, your intuitive knowledge, and your sense of possibilities that could come up for you in life. If you take anything from this article, let it be the importance of listening to your gut, following your heart, and paying attention to what your subconscious tries to tell you.

Erica Gordon
61 posts

About author
Erica majored in Psychology at UBC and has since founded The Babe Report and followed her passion for writing and journalism, with a focus on health and travel writing.
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