Articles Can a Dream Foretell the Future?

Most people spend a third of their life sleeping and experience an average of 4-5 dreams per night. With so much time asleep, there is every opportunity for God to speak to a person through a precognitive dream—a dream that appears to tell the future. There are a number of examples in the Bible where people had dreams, which foretold the future.

JosephGen 37:5-11
PharaohGen 41:1-32
JacobGen 31:10-13
NebuchadnezzarDaniel 2:31-45
DanielDaniel 7:1-14 
Dreams about his future rule
Dreams about climate change
Dreams about his inheritance
Dreams of future world powers
Dreams of future events

In my book, ‘In Your Dreams’, I outline several personal dreams that turned out to be precognitive or predictive.  On one occasion I dreamed of meeting people I’d never met before; another time I dreamed of speaking in a country I’d never  been to; and the last dream, a message I would preach at a church I’d never preached in before. Added to my own personal experience, I’ve also come across friends who have been both warned and encouraged by dreams fortelling the future.

From both Biblical example and in my own experience a precognitive dream is prophetic in nature, fortelling an upcoming event before it happens. Such dreams are not uncommon and don’t always have to be negative or frightening in nature. Most of my precognitive dreams have been full of faith and promise. In interpreting the dreams, I have felt Divine direction and wisdom coming through.  It is important to remember that when taking encouragement and hope from a prophetic dream, not to be impatient in waiting for the fulfilment. Just as the Biblical Joseph didn’t see his dream fulfilled for over thirteen years, sometimes God speaks to you in a dream about something that might happen the next day, but it is just as likely to take months or years before it comes into being.

Another thing I have noticed from personal experience, worthwhile considering is that most of these prophetic dreams have occurred during times of concentrated prayer and fasting. While this is not always the case, there does seem to be a correlation between times of dedicated devotion and the likelihood of hearing from God through prophetic words.

What you can do?

If you should have a warning dream it doesn’t cost you anything to take precautions. Such a dream can alert you to impending danger or potential crisis either for yourself or someone close to you.

Dr. Larry Dossey, MD is a former physician of internal medicine and former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital. He has lectured in medical schools and hospitals throughout the US. In a recent well-being article he referred to a lady called Amanda, a young mother in Washington State, was awakened one night by a horrible dream. She dreamed that the chandelier in the next room had fallen from the ceiling onto her sleeping infant’s crib and crushed the baby. In the dream she saw a clock in the baby’s room that read 4:35, and that wind and rain were hammering the windows. Extremely upset, she awakened her husband and told him her dream. He said it was silly and to go back to sleep. But the dream was so frightening that Amanda went into the baby’s room and brought the baby back to bed with her. Soon she was awakened by a loud crash in the baby’s room. She rushed in to see that the chandelier had fallen and crushed the crib – the clock in the room read 4:35 and that wind and rain were howling outside. Her dream premonition was camera-like in detail, including the specific event, the precise time, and even a change in the weather.

On one occasion when staying at a friend’s place in Orange NSW I had a dream:

I dreamed I was on a two-wheeled motorbike riding recklessly down the edge of a mountain. I was speeding along having the time of my life, when I took a corner too fast. I then slid off the edge and into a deep ravine. Then I suddenly woke up.

My friend’s house is situated high on a mountain, with a narrow gravel road winding along the edge of the mountain to his home. I had planned a day of fun on his four-wheeler quad bike, with a ride down the mountain. When I woke from the dream the next day, I did ride the quad bike down the mountain, but I made sure I rode carefully and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. 

Should a precognitive dream contain a glimpse of a promise or calling I recommend the following:

1. CAUTION: Be careful not to try to make something happen and be wise about who you share this sort of dream with. It is easy to end up complicating matters, as when Joseph told his brothers about his dream and how he thought he would rule over them. (Gen 37: 5-8) The brothers didn’t respond well, and Joseph ended up in a pit.

2. COMMIT: Commit the dream and the prophecy to prayer.  God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) The Bible offers wisdom: “Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], and your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].” Proverbs 16:3 (AMP)

3. COUNSEL: Seek wise counsel from someone who can provide insight and guidance for any practical steps that may be appropriate.

As an example, I remember having woken from a dream where I was speaking in the nation of Denmark. I’d never been to the country before. I rang the national leader of our movement in Melbourne and told him about my dream. He arranged for me to meet with the national leader from Denmark who just happened to be visiting Melbourne in three weeks time.  From that meeting there was an invitation to speak at the Danish national training college. This was followed by another invitation to return the following year to speak at their National Youth Conference. None of this would have happened if I had not approached our leader about the dream.