Praying Dreams into Reality
The natural drive of humanity is to achieve the dreams and aspirations of our lives. God made us in His image, so it’s normal for us to want to dream, visualize, create, pursue, and overcome. Even before we were born God gave us a purpose and plan – He had a vision in His mind of what He wanted us to achieve. Those visions become a natural part of our calling which we are meant to pursue throughout our life. Ifand howand whenwe pursue those dreams is up to us.
Dreams are vague imaginations that float around in our minds until we begin to visualize them. When our dreams become alive to the point we begin to see, hear, and think on them as if they were already true, then they become visions that prompt action. Without a dream and a vision for our life, we end up living a mundane existence. Even scripture tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” (Proverbs 29:18).
God, too, is a dreamer. He has been dreaming and creating before time existed and is still doing so. He is forever pursuing His passions. When He created humanity, He chose to partner with us in fulfilling His dreams. He could have done it all by Himself but He enjoys relationship with us, dreaming with us, and achieving through us. What a privilege we have!
As Christians, we need to pursue the visions He has for our lives as well as the dreams God has for this world. We cannot be complete without both. As we pursue these dreams however, we need to do so through prayer. God has the end picture in mind and knows how to guide us the best way into seeing that vision become reality. When we act out of our own knowledge, we act under limited capacity and often make mistakes and sometimes fail. When we allow God to guide our dreams however, each step is taken with intention, and each step is sure.
As we pursue our dreams and visions, let the following guide our prayers:
Is this your dream or God’s dream? Though we can each have our own dreams for ministry, careers, and so on, those dreams must be subject to the will of God. Any dream that is contrary to what God wants from us at any time should be put aside and new direction should be sought. We should actively pursue our dreams but more than that should we pursue the dreams of God. His dreams should always be more important than our own. Be willing to put aside your vision to pursue His. If you cannot do that, then you are not in submission to Him and He will not bless what you are pursuing.
- I submit my dreams and desires to You. Your dreams are more important that my own.
- Reveal to me the things I am pursuing that are not in Your will, or for this moment.
- Forgive me for my times of selfishness when I completely ignore what You want to do and simply pursue my own passions.
God works in various ways. His ways and thoughts are above ours. Be willing to push your own opinions and ideas off the table. Just because He did a certain thing a certain way in the past does not mean He will do it again in the same manner. Jesus often did miracles in various ways. We have to be careful of not placing limitations on God or putting faith in a human process rather than in God’s guidance.
God works in various capacities. Sometimes we discount the “small” things He does because we only want to be involved in the “big” things. It’s not for us to judge the impact of God’s dream, but to simply be available to participate.
- Show me any area of my thinking where I am closed-minded and stubborn.
- Remind me that You are God, and You can do whatever You want, however You want.
- Perfect love casts out fear. I will not fear what is new or uncomfortable to me because I trust that You will be with me.
- Help me to be open to whatever You want, rather than try to fulfill Your dreams with my preconceived ideas.
- I will be open to whatever You want to do, whether big or seemingly small. Even the smallest of Your works is miraculous to me. Teach me in each moment.
Ask God questions
In our relationships with others, dialogue is initiated and sustained by asking questions and sharing responses. We learn about each other through questions and sharing of our opinions and ideals. Projects cannot be achieved without a vision being shared and direction given. Assumptions often cause us to do things that are ineffective or completely wrong.
Scripture is full of examples of people asking God questions. God expects us to initiate dialogue, just as we would in any personal relationship, to ask what we are to do, and then to wait for His response. Failure to wait on Him often leads us to respond out of our own knowledge and passions which often lead to negative results. We can’t afford to treat God’s dreams that way.
- Help me to know what questions to ask about what I’m praying about. Bring them to my mind.
- What is it that You want to do?
- Who do You want to be involved? Am I involved, my church, my family, or others?
- How do You want to do it?
- When do You want to do it? Is there a specific time, extended time period, or is this something that will continue for an indefinite length of time?
- Where do You want to do it? Is there a specific place?
- Why do You want to do it? Is there something I can learn in the process rather than just pursuing the end goal?
The more specific you are the more your prayers are effective. Being specific helps us fine tune what we really desire. And when God answers, it brings Him glory, builds our faith and the faith of others, and blesses us.
- Lord, reveal Your specific plans to me (or others) so I (they) can talk to You about them.
- Help me to see with my spiritual eyes, or in dreams or visions, the things You desire. If I can see them I can better articulate what You want.
- Help me to hear Your voice guiding me and giving me directions on what to do.
- Show me things I am praying that I need to adjust to fit Your will. I will not be obstinate but be willing to change as You desire.
Expect an answer
In normal conversations, it is customary to expect a response after asking a question. So it is with God. He isn’t rude or holding out on us. He wants to answer us. Matthew 7:9 says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Then in Jeremiah 33:3 it says He will answer us if we call on Him. We often lack faith and patience though and don’t wait for God’s response. Subconsciously, we may even doubt that He will answer us at all (see James 1:5—8). If we are His children, we can be sure that our Father will not ignore us. He will answer us, even if it’s not in our timing or in the way we would prefer. We must expect, and we must wait.
- I repent of any sins and any lack of submission that would cause distance between us.
- I will make amends with those I am at odds with to the best of my ability. I don’t want my personal issues to hinder my prayers.
- Lord, You speak to Your people, and I choose to believe that You are going to speak to me. You do not show favoritism.
- I will listen for Your words rather than what I want or expect You to say.
- I will humble myself and accept what You say, even if it’s hard to hear or obey.
Recognize His voice
We recognize the voices of those that we are close to. They call us on the phone, and we immediately identify them without even hearing their name. John 10:4 says, “His sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
As we spend more time listening to God in prayer we’ll begin to discern His voice from our own or the enemy’s. But it does take time. He may speak to us in the midst of our prayers, or He may speak to us some time throughout the day. He may speak to our spirit, in impressions or visions, through others, or through scripture. When God does speak, we can be sure that what He speaks will always agree with the Word of God. If it does not agree, we must refuse to listen to that voice and seek Him further.
- Reveal to me the wrong voices I have been listening to, whether my own, others, or the voice of the enemy.
- Help me to be aware when You are speaking, whether in my times of prayer or during my day. Make me aware in that moment so I can learn to recognize Your voice.
- Help me to feel Your heart when You speak. Sometimes I misunderstand Your words because I don’t understand what You feel or think when You are speaking.
God won’t share His dreams with us if He knows we won’t listen or respond to what He wants. We aren’t to be just the dreamers but the fulfiller of those dreams through God’s direction and power. Do not pray about something if you are not willing to be a part of the answer. Often, He will share His desires those that He wants to help fulfill them.
- If You want to use me in this situation, I make myself available.
- I will trust You to guide me in what You want me to do, even if I’m uncomfortable in it.
- Show me where You have prompted be before to do something and I was not obedient. I don’t want Your dreams to grow stagnant because of my stubbornness.
- Help me recognize the resources You are giving me to accomplish what You want me to do. I know You will not call me to do something that is beyond my ability. Through You, I can do all things!
Go deeper in your prayer rather than covering more topics. It’s not about how many prayer requests we cover each day but how effectively we are praying what’s on His heart. God doesn’t forget the prayers we’ve prayed. Prayer for the sake of prayer is great and help us develop that spiritual discipline we need, but God wants to be able to work through us whenever, however, telling us whatever He desires and know we will respond. Our faith must be in Him, not in our religious routines.
- Forgive me for getting so caught up in my prayer routines at times that I neglect to seek You for Your will in the moment. I want to be Spirit-led, not routine-led.
- Take me deeper in what’s on Your heart on a specific matter. I don’t want to rush through just to say I’ve prayed.
- Place a burden on me for something on Your heart. I am willing to take the extra time and effort to pray, fast, and seek You in the matter until the need is met.
- Give me the understanding I need to pray more effectively about the needs You are burdening me with.
Go back again
Rather than praying once, go back again and talk with God again about what He shared with you. He will often give further direction or clarification. We need His guidance for each step, not just the final destination. (Jesus only did what His father told Him.) It matters HOW we get there. We want to be as effective as possible.
- I refuse to take Your dream and achieve it through my own efforts and ideas. I need You to guide me each step of the way.
- Show me what I’m doing well, so I can continue to do so.
- If there’s anything I need to adjust at this moment, help me know what that is. Make it plain to me.
- Help those who may be partnering with me in Your dreams to be in unity with each other and Your will.
WNOP Kids & Youth Prayer Coordinator / Promotions