Nightmares and Warfare

I hope you can help me figure out my dreams, in general I often dream of homes, being disrobed and not remembering how I got this way, fighting with my parents, whom I am estranged from, having heart attacks and a spotlight showing this and feeling embarrassed. Always being chased, someone trying to capture me and hurt me…always running away from something evil…thank you for any help and God bless you.

–Tortured by Nightmares

Dear Tortured,

All quite common. Most of us have looked down in a dream and realized we were partially or completely naked in a dream at some point. It’s an expression of our fears of public exposure, of being seen for who we really are, of revealing parts of ourselves we wish to keep private, the heart attack dream seems to be along the same lines, only with pain/dying (nonphysically most likely) underscored. Houses represent ourselves (on all levels) and most dreams are about ourselves, so houses are likewise common. The various rooms, condition, and items all speak to various aspects of you and your life. Our day time struggles, especially the ones we don’t want to deal with, often carry into our night life, so most of us with estranged family have had mental arguments with them, both awake and asleep. Ever rehearsed what you’d like to say to your parents? That’s exactly what you’re doing in your dream, only more honest than we usually are awake.

If you’re running from something in your dreams, you’re likely running from something in your real life, too. To figure out what you need to face in your waking life, you might want to consider, the next time you have this dream, to turn and face what you’ve been running from. Remember, if you’ve got Jesus in your heart, before the devil can hurt you, he has to go through Him first. As scripture says, if God is for us, who can be against us? If what you’re running from is sin—definitely turn around and face it. Give it to God, ask Him for the strength (and to make a way as the case may be) to overcome, and let His blood wash you clean.

There are a few other reasons someone might dream of being chased/encounter something evil that come to mind—replaying a traumatic memory from childhood is getting more and more common, unfortunately. Less commonly, if the dream has no bearing on you whatsoever and none of the parabolic symbols seem to apply, it’s possible the dream could be prophetic in nature, and by that I mean a warning of something you’re about to go through personally, revealed so you can pray and be prepared, or even less commonly, God sometimes shows intercessors in a dream something that’s really happening to others so they can pray for the individual(s) involved. Again, to my knowledge, that’s relatively rare.

Most of the dreams I’ve had involving malevolent presences, whatever shape they happened to take in the dream, were actual demons invading our sleep, oppressing unclean spirits sent to torment, neutralize, and if possible, gain control over us. If you’re blood-bought and submitted to Christ, they have to go through Jesus first to achieve the latter end, and He’s bigger, so don’t let them scare you. I’ll discuss this more in a minute, but one way to tell real quick if the monster in your dream is a demon trying to scare you, is to stop running, face him down, and rebuke him in the name of Jesus and/or invoke the blood. You’ll be able to tell the nature of the beast by what happens next. If you’ve been running a long time, it may take a while to get it across to them that you mean it. It takes a while for a permissive “parent” to establish authority with a child used to being allowed to run wild. Like such children, your pet demons (the cat that came back the very next day would be proud of them sometimes, but keep at it) will test the boundaries to see what they can get away with. When I stand firm, most of the time, the dream itself abruptly ends, with or without waking up.

Love in Christ,


Since they’re related, let’s go to a second letter:

A couple of weeks ago, I kept having horrible dreams. Most of them were about me laying in my bed asleep and then I’d look to the light on the ceiling and there’d be red fly things(swarms of them)flying around it. I kept saying ‘Satan be gone!’ but nothing happened. Then I tried to get up out of bed and go to my mother, but every time I threw myself off the bed, I somehow got sucked or dragged by some kind of force back into my bed. Please help it’s very distressing.

God bless,
Night Horrors

Dear Night,

Were you still dreaming during all of this? I think you correctly identified who’s behind this one. If you’ve been cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, he has no power over you unless you give it to him, and the blood-bought people of God have authority over him in the name of Jesus. If, however, you have unrepentant sin in your life, especially if it’s one the demon in particular has dominion over (such as lust, fear, rebellion, etc), you’ve give him power over you, and gaining victory will first require prayer and possibly fasting. To take the stronghold down, the sin must be removed and replaced with the appropriate fruit of the spirit. Some demonic spirits are more stubborn than others, and if you’ve been not getting anywhere on your own, you may want to consider asking your pastor or church for assistance (or direction in locating it.) You have to be careful, some churches would rather pretend the devil doesn’t do such things today, others, to put it delicately if I can, give the devil more glory than they do the Lord.

Otherwise, as the scripture says, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Demons can be like dogs (and sometimes are represented as such in our dreams) as well as flies. You have to sound like you mean it, and firmly believe from the heart in God and his promise of the authority believers have in his name. Some can command in the name of Jesus without directly invoking his name, for others speaking the words helps them believe. There is power in the blood of the Lamb, and in the name of Jesus, and invoking them. Remind them you’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb and are covered in it. Remind them Christ has risen from the dead and granted his people authority over unclean spirits.

If all else fails, memorize scripture, and quote it to them. As a memorization tool rather than a talisman, post a scripture next to your bed, so you can read it by lamp or night light, and meditate on it as you fall asleep. I started doing this when I had a similar problem, and saw almost immediate results. The scripture I posted (and read) was:

I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for Thou, LORD, only, doth make me dwell in safety.”
–Psalms 4:8

In Christ’s Love,

Andrea Graham