Prophetic Dreams: How to Discover the Meaning of Your Dream

Prophetic Dreams take you on a journey with God on gold backgroundHave you had a prophetic dream recently, and wondered what it meant? Perhaps you had a significant dream in the past—and you remember it years later.

I believe the Holy Spirit is moving right now in the realm of prophetic dreams.

  • God is not only awakening past dreams, but He is also speaking in new dreams!
  • He is redeeming dreams that we thought were lost

If this stirs you, I pray that you will encounter God in your dream life.

11 Tips to Discover the Meaning of Your Prophetic Dream

Sometimes, the Holy Spirit imparts a timely message through a dream. Here are some tips for navigating and understanding prophetic dreams, using my recent dream as an example:

Dream: A Visitor and the Footprints of Angels

We had a tumultuous time earlier this month, where we experienced great joy, followed by sadness, and then some news that left our future uncertain.
In the middle of this upheaval, on 13th September, I had a dream:

A woman called Sophie was visiting our home and ministry center. [1] She was excitedly telling me about how it was possible to see the evidence of angels—and to tell where they had been walking.

Sophie had made a study of this and had written a book on it! And she wanted to share what she had learned.

She pointed to the ground, and I saw golden-colored sand, as you would see on a beach, in which there were many indistinguishable footprints. I looked at it with a great deal of curiosity and wondered, how could you tell which of the footprints were angelic?

When Sophie left, I noticed the room was set up for students in a small training workshop layout.
And she had left study notes about the topic under each chair. The cover of these was the same as her book—and appeared in shades of orange and yellow, although I did not see the title.
It was ready to receive students.

1. Note the Context and Content of Your Prophetic Dream

I’ve noticed that God gives dreams in troubled times about the future, to give us hope. Even when the meaning is a mystery, it signifies an encounter with Him.

We are reminded that God cares for us and watches over our lives. But a dream is not always about the future. A dream can also be timely, as God gives us present instruction or encouragement.

I recommend that when you journal about a dream, date it, and take note of the circumstances happening in your life at the time of the dream.
One day, that will be a part of your testimony.

2. Remember A Prophetic Dream has its Own Language

When God speaks to us through dreams and visions, He often communicates in parables and symbols. For example, I noticed yellow and orange, which spoke to me of joy, glory, and the fire of God’s presence.

Some dream symbols are easily identifiable, some are personal to us, while others we can research in the Bible.

We may not always understand the symbols or meaning of our dreams, but its mystery causes us to seek God, to find out what the Bible says about it, and to enquire with others. [2]

3. Write or Record the Prophetic Dream While You Remember the Details

It is helpful to record the dream as soon as possible. This may be a few notes to jog your memory!
There may be finer details that will fade if you leave them that carry significant meaning.

Take note of the atmosphere in the dream—how did it feel? In my dream, I felt curiosity, wonder, and anticipation.

I woke up—just after 1:30 am and jotted down some notes, recognizing the dream was spiritual. “Sophie.”
I remembered that the name means wisdom and comes from the Greek word “sophia”. [3]

4. Pay Attention to What Happens After the Prophetic Dream

Later that morning, I forgot the dream as we attended a family funeral.
It was a sad occasion, yet rich with love, honor, family, and faith.

As the service closed in prayer, I glanced downwards.
The carpet on the church aisle was the color of gold sand. Suddenly, I was jolted back, present in the dream. Tears came to my eyes as I realized, “Angels are here!”
Afterward, we went outside to mingle with family, friends, and strangers.
The last person I met was a woman called Sophie.

Sometimes, the Holy Spirit follows a dream with signs, and through these, He says, “Pay attention, this is Me!”

5. It Can be Helpful to Share Your Prophetic Dream with Someone

As we drove home, I related the dream and coincidences to Malcolm. “What does it mean?” he wondered, amazed.

I mused over this and realized, “Sometimes, God gives you an unanswered question, to stir your hunger. And to send you on a journey to seek Him for that answer.”

Sharing your dream with someone supportive of you is helpful for several reasons:
1. Sharing helps you remember it.
2. If they are acquainted with dream interpretation, they may be able to help with the symbols.
3. If they know you, they can help reflect on the meaning personally. They may notice something you overlooked.
4. In the process of recounting the dream, a theme or purpose of the dream may occur to you, as it did to me.

6. A Prophetic Dream is an Invitation to a Conversation with God.

When I came home from the funeral, I removed my jewelry and gasped as I realized the significance of what I was wearing.
It was a bracelet which I had put on without thinking as I rushed to leave the house. And it was engraved with the last line of the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.

In tiny, almost obscured letters, it read, “He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you…When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” [4]

Sometimes, God adds a “P.S.” to a dream!

  • The most important key to discovering the meaning of a dream is to see it as part of an ongoing conversation with God

Perhaps, your prophetic dream is part of an ongoing dialogue, or it may be the beginning of a whole new conversation! God will continue to speak through other ways as you are attentive to Him.

You can process this dialogue through prayer, journaling, and other means.

7. There May be a Literal Aspect to the Prophetic Dream

Gold colored sand with many footprints in itThe day after my dream, we packed and went for a short stay on Phillip Island. Malcolm and I had been through a lot in a short time and needed some space to replenish.

But still, the message of the dream followed us. As we walked by the seaside that afternoon, I realized the sand at that beach was identical to that in my dream—gold, with many indistinguishable footprints! [Photo ours]

A dream may be purely symbolic, but it can also be about something literal that is about to happen (I experienced this when I had a dream that preceded a car crash).

But a dream can have both literal and symbolic elements—which this one did.

8. Don’t Rush to Interpret the Prophetic Dream

It seemed we were experiencing the relentless pursuit of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, I had even seen this location ahead of time with the gold sand in the dream. But I still didn’t know what it meant.

A prophetic dream can be a window into the future. One day we will understand the meaning. But in the meantime, it is a mystery.

And that is okay—this is why it is powerful to keep a record of your dreams.

Some of my dreams have taken years to unfold, and then one day I realize, “I dreamed about this!” So, I have searched out the journal in which I recorded it.

9. The Holy Spirit Reveals the Meaning

Two days later, I walked by the golden sand, praying, and reflecting.
I felt the Holy Spirit challenging me and presenting me with a choice. Would I look at events of the past year as a setback—or see them as a setup?
Would I see the trial through the lens of covenant and promise? [5]

In those moments of wrestling with His call to obedience—to believe in His goodness in the face of difficulty—I saw the dream’s meaning.

While others can help us understand the symbols in a dream, the Holy Spirit, who is the author, is the one who reveals the meaning.
When this happens, we have an “aha!” moment.

10. A Prophetic Dream Leads to a Revelation About God

The question my dream raised was:

  • How can you identify where angels have walked?
  • How can you tell where God has been at work?

Suddenly, I realized the answer was in having a Kingdom perspective. When you look through the lens of faith, you can see the footprints of God.

I also realized that the message of the bracelet and the dream are the same.
God invites us to put on Heaven’s glasses and see from His viewpoint.
When we do, we can see His footprints.

11. Be Expectant for God to Reveal More

While I feel the dream has some resolution, I look forward to receiving further insight from the Holy Spirit.

  • Because a dream is part of an ongoing conversation with God and can have layers of meaning.

I am reminded that in the book of Proverbs, Solomon personifies wisdom as a woman who calls, exhorts, and rebukes. Wisdom also offers discipline.

But the New Testament reveals that Jesus Himself is the ultimate wisdom (1 Cor 1:30, Col 2:3) and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom (Eph 1:17)

Right now, God is calling us into wisdom’s classroom because He has a lesson to teach us.
The Holy Spirit is training our eyes to see Him and perceive where He is at work.

Leave a Comment
Which of the tips (or stages) of processing a prophetic dream do you most relate to, right now? What stands out to me is the insight that a dream is part of an ongoing conversation. I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment or prayer request in the box below.


[1] Our actual home and ministry consist solely of a home office and an additional office I use as a studio—the dream was a representation.
[2] Refer to the post Why Does The Holy Spirit Speak in Mysteries
[3] Strong’s G4678 sophia – wisdom
[4] “Footprints in the Sand” – author unknown
[5] I may explain in an upcoming post about “Wisdom’s Classroom”

Related Posts:

Prophetic Journaling: Create Your Treasury of Insights from God

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It includes a summary PDF in which I explain my process of interpreting colors and numbers.

Here, you will find my best tips, with downloadable templates to help you begin.
Throughout this course, you will:

  • Identify the ways journaling will help you develop your prophetic gift
  • Refresh your journaling practice with new ideas, tools, and approaches
  • Download and print templates to help you get started
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  • Access advanced content to help you develop your prophetic gift further
  • Hear my best tips to help you share your work with others

© 2023 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog

Enliven Ministries: Prophetic ministry for a revival generation

35 thoughts on “Prophetic Dreams: How to Discover the Meaning of Your Dream”

  1. Miguel Angel Cotto

    Shalom and blessings! I just shared your post with various children-in-the- faith, as well as in my Facebook page. Just yesterday I was speaking with some people about the same topic and how Abba confirmed in 3 diverse and peculiar ways a dream he gave me back in 11/3/22. I have been given the ability to interpret dreams for myself and others since I began walking with the Lord and I truly appreciate your post, especially since it covers a lot of the same points, I have taught my students and friends in Messiah. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so so much on the articles on the mysteries of Holp Spirit. This has truly inspired to draw closer to Holy Spirit, lord Jesus and God. My desire is to know what, when, how, why Holy Spirit is Speaking.

  2. Would the same principles work for visions, or ‘mental’ visions? It’jsjust that decades ago when I wa sperhap between 9 and 12 years old, I had a very vivid dream or perhaps vision. It was so long ago and I was not actually a believer as such. But the dream or whatever it was , was so vivid and ‘real’ that it stuck in mky subcoscious for decades. A while after I became a Christian, another Christian was talking about something and this occurence came vividly back to me. What I don’t know is whether it was a dream, a vision or that I in reality got ourt of bed and looked out of my window and mistakenly thought that bright moonlight lighting up everything in the gardens around was actually dawn or even after the sun wa sjust setting. Thing is, at the time, bearing in mind that I may only have been 9, I might not normally have experinced bright moonlight etc. But it seemed to me at the time that the sun was brightly shining at or near midnight! And when my friend was talking abiout something, it brought to mind the bit in the Bible about the sun of righteous rising with healing in his wings…Plus I believe there are references somewhere to midnight only I don’t now recall exactly where. I have wonderd since whether God had given decades ago when I was a child some sort of prophetic dream or vision. Especially since it stuck somehwere in my subconcious for all those years. It also seems to me that when darkness will be at its darkest that God’s glory will shinne its brightest. If any of this makes any sense!

    1. Yes the same principle applies to visions! Also, sometimes “dreams” are interchangeable with “visions of the night” in scripture. So I wouldn’t be concerned about differentiating them.
      Receive the encouragement of your vision and the fact that God‘s call has been on your life all of these years.

  3. Oh my! God’s so beautiful. This is a timely word. As continual conversation is so true! I had a dream a while ago about land and in the dream I saw a man name Jospeh: God will increase & two days ago the same related dream I got twice the same night! As I been praying for relatives and myself & brother I specifically prayed that we would have No loss just knew that was important & related in both dreams. Then your Word came! Dreams Oh I received it all In Jesus name Wisdom. I trust The Lord will provide as the land left by my grandmother gets sold, we are 5 heirs and I will receive whatever God places in our hands because we all need help as our parents pass. Please pray for us. Love everything you share, such good spiritual food. Blessings

    1. Gods anointing is on those dreams, Elizabeth.
      Yes may you receive the fullness of your legacy and inheritance! We pray in Jesus’ Name

  4. God is very transparent in his dealings with his children. He showed me in a few dreams something similar to the Ezekiel visions about the Temple idols about my then church and institutional church in general. To say I was shocked would be an understatement and my life was in serious turmoil.
    God is kind and gentle but he is also truthful and that almost did me in as I was very naive and very trusting.
    To quote the famous line ‘it was the best of times,it was the worst of times’. Best because God so preciously shared me his perspective and in the end cleared up so many things and the clarity and friendship with him it brought, worst because it upended my life no end and the struggle to find that clarity.
    One direct result from this dream was His revelation about his righteousness given to me. It tied into the day I was baptised and that revelation, to this day, is my most prized possession and my anchor when things are becoming chaotic. We rally have a friend in the Lord Jesus.

  5. I’ve not had a dream from the Lord in quite awhile but have had them in the past. Keeping them all together in a file for easy access with notes ,as they’re revealed over time, has been the best way to keep track of them. Please pray for me since this past week I’ve been getting dreams but they’re nightmares and some are absolutely vile and evil. I know where it’s coming from and why but it’s still frustrating since I pray for protection as I sleep but then these awful dreams happen. Please pray too that I stand in authority, filled with the Holy Spirit , and fight back while in the dreams. This has been happening lately, it’s a good thing, but I need more help since I wake up from them upset. Thank you!

    1. Hi Staci,
      I hope you’ve had a better time since you commented here! I pray for peace in your sleep and a Divine hedge of protection, in Jesus’ name!
      It sounds as though you have a good system for recording your prophetic dreams!
      I wonder if you have seen these posts?

  6. Christal adams edge

    Please pray for me and my family
    Prayer request please
    I’m praying to leave an abusive marriage and that God restore my family and I.
    I desire a new beginning away from my husband and his church.
    God protect and lead help me I don’t have a place to live and I need to be able to get my things and go without fear

    1. Hi Christal,
      I’m sorry to hear you have been through this.
      I pray that you find that safe place and security and a place to flourish and grow. I pray that you will feel God‘s kindness and love through others, and for provision and restoration, in Jesus’ name.

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