5 More Tips for Improving Dream Recall
One of the most common inquiries we receive is How can I remember my dreams? This is a great question and we have explored many ways to improve dream recall in previous articles and interviews.
To build on those seven tips for remembering dreams, today we have a guest post from Shirley Camplin. Shirley earned her Master in Ministry degree from Christian Leadership University and is currently in our Doctoral program. She has some excellent suggestions on several more practical ways we can recollect our dream revelations and I’ve asked her to share them with us here.
Waking up: What do you do first? – by Shirley Camplin
Recently, Glory Waves ran a poll and asked their Facebook followers – “What is the first thing you do in the morning?” The two options were Write down my dream, or Think about the new day. Overwhelmingly, thinking about the day before them won the poll. This made me think, why is it so hard for us to write down our dreams as the first thing we do when we wake up? My personal opinion is we tend to put our worldly thoughts before ALL starting upon waking. It is a habit we do not even think about. What if God intended us to live out our next day from last night’s dream?
In our Western culture, we are taught that dreams are not valuable. However, take a look at what Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
We are also taught we need to plan out our upcoming day so we get everything we need to do accomplished. Is our enemy stealing our thoughts about our dream first thing every morning? When we do not think about our dream as we wake up, our worldly thoughts immediately take control. Second Corinthians 10:5 teaches us to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. What about those first morning thoughts? Since God is the Creator of our dreams, what if we took control and captured those thoughts, turning them back to the most recent dream we had just before we woke up? What would happen then?
BE STILL and know…
Is it possible to control our thoughts without moving a muscle when we wake up? I did an experiment when I first started to value my dreams and learned how to control my thoughts upon waking. Yes, this can be done and you can do this too! Every morning upon first waking, I lay in the same position that I woke up (see Psalm 46:10).
Then I think about the dream I just had, starting with the ending of it, and working my way back to the beginning. I get one or two memories and then ask “What was right before that?” Of whom am I asking this question? Well, since Holy Spirit is the one who created my dream, it is He, the ultimate Dream Weaver Himself who I’m asking!
Eventually, I remember the whole dream but I do not stop there. Still not moving from my waking-up position, I relive the dream over a couple of times and start thinking, Where did this dream take place? What was I doing? What was I feeling?
Then I write the dream down on the paper I have sitting beside my bed. Some people use their phones to record their dream story. Either way works as long as you see it in writing and you make this the first physical thing you do. You will find if you do this every morning, you will remember more and more dreams. Because you are paying attention to them, your mind is being trained that dreams are important and will begin cooperating with you instead of fighting against your goal of dream recall.
But what if I don’t remember anything I dreamed?
If you don’t recall any part of your dream, then just write down how you feel upon waking: Were you at peace? Were you afraid? Were you confused? Were you happy? These are just a few examples of what you might look for and record. Don’t give up! After doing this a few times, you will begin to recall more and more. But remember upon waking, do not move out of the position you woke up in, this is the key!
The result from doing the above experiment was that I started to understand what God was sharing with me in my nightly dreams. I learned that there were things during my next day that could be accomplished better and even faster by listening to God from my dream than trying to do everything on my own.
I have received creative ideas for inventions that are not in our marketplace today. I have learned about emotions that need to be addressed and how to turn them over to Him. In the beginning, God counseled me about believing in Him. Weeks of dreams pointed me to Him and why I should believe in Him. Then weeks of dreams pointed me to trust Him in all I do. Then weeks of dreams pointed me to life experiences and if I should teach certain classes or subjects. I even received warning dreams ahead of events that could have had crippling effects on my life and others.
I began to wonder if this is the true way to have devotion time with God instead of going through a devotion book or pondering on a sporadic scripture here and there. The reason I suggest this is because if we took our dreams, wrote them down, interpreted them with God, confirmed with scripture, thanked Him for the dreams, repented or prayed over the dreams, worshiped and praised Him for giving the dreams and their interpretations… this could actually be the perfect devotion time every morning with Him.
God wants a relationship with you and He wants to be first… isn’t this a great way to demonstrate our hearts are for Him first and foremost, above all else? What are we missing out on if we don’t pay attention to those first thoughts every morning? In a very practical way we are able to give God the “first fruits” of our day, our very first thoughts and affections set on Him each and every morning. What could be better than that?
Letting God lead
Amen, Shirley! I so appreciate these actionable instructions that we can all put into practice right away. It reminds me of a wonderful insight from a participant at our most recent dream workshop in Baltimore. She shared that she loves using last night’s dream as a jumping-off point for her morning meditation with the Lord. In her quiet times she asks Him to speak to her about her dreams and help her translate the message He gave. She explained how this allows Holy Spirit Himself to set the tone and direction of the conversation, because the topic is based on the dream He gave her in the night.
Beautiful, as this is how God actually describes and defines our days over and over again in the first chapter of Genesis: “There was evening and there was morning” and He called that a day. So our days begin in the evening, which again confirms why we want to honor what He reveals in our visions of the night, as they can very well chart the course for the rest our day. Such a powerful way for us to live and walk by His Spirit (Gal. 5:25)!
This is also a wonderful example of how two-way journaling and dream work complement each other so well. Indeed, hearing God’s voice all day and all night is what we’re going for… 24/7 communion with Him! To learn more about how to translate the language the Lord speaks at night, check out our Dream Mastery resources or sign up for our free Dreams Crash Course.
“I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
“I was asleep, but my heart was awake. Listen, my beloved is knocking…”
(Song of Solomon 5:2)
Never miss a date with your Beloved again… God can’t wait to meet you in your dreams!