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Bad Dreams and Nightmares
A nightmare (or a bad dream) is defined as a frightening dream that usually awakens the sleeper. It has a scary element which causes a strong emotional response from the mind such as fear, worry, hopelessness and sorrow.
A person who had a nightmare may be unable to return to sleep for a short period of time. But if nightmares keep on occurring, causing insomnia, the person may need to seek professional spiritual and medical help. Nightmares occur due to different reasons such as: stress, anxiety, psychological disorders, fevers, mind altering drugs, occult practices and heavy meals before bed.
Dreams in the Bible
In the Bible, God spoke to people through dreams (Job 33:14-18). These dreams included prophecy like the ones given to Joseph (Genesis 37), Pharaoh’s servants (Genesis 40:5), and Daniel (Daniel 7:1-7). And there were frighting dreams or nightmares with special revelations such as the ones given to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-8) and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1; 4:10–18). Other dreams contained messages of warning like the ones given to Abimelech (Genesis 20:3–7), Laban the Syrian (Genesis 31:24), Joseph [Jesus’ Father] (Matthew 2:13) and Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19).
How to Be Free From Bad Dreams and Nightmares?
If a believer is troubled with bad dreams and nightmares, he may consider the following Bible advice:
2-Make sure that the nightmare is not a warning from God by simply asking Him about it. The Lord promised, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).
3-Claim God’s promise for good restful sleep: “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24).
4-Trust in God and don’t allow anxiety, fear and the worries of life to trouble your soul. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).
Sometimes when a person pushes an anxious thought away during the day, his subconscious may bring it out at night in the form of a bad dream. In order to avoid that, deal with your anxieties during the day hours and don’t push it away.
5-Guard the avenues of the mind and don’t look at evil (news, horror movies, the occult…etc.). Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
6-Avoid the wrong king of music that troubles the spirit and listen to godly music. The Bible mentions that when Saul was troubled emotionally, “David would play his harp. Saul would relax and feel better, and the evil spirit would go away” from him (1 Samuel 16:23).
7-Maintian a healthy balanced life style of exercise, healthy food and a spirit of praise in the Lord. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
In His service,