Your Old Men Shall Dream Dreams
By Lori Stewart
My father is 83 and suffers from severe dementia. A pastor for over 50 years, Dad's audio sermons captured on cassette tapes fill several boxes. Today, those boxes are stored away in a bedroom closet. In his day, he preached to large crowds around the world—India, South Korea, Guatemala, Honduras, and most of the 50 states. Once a great orator, encourager, story-teller, and prayer intercessor, he now spends most of his days watching TV.
Growing up, I could hear my dad's voice coming from his office down the hall from my bedroom. If he wasn't on the phone comforting or praying for one of our church members, then he was talking to God. His prayer time started around 5 or 6 am. As I lay in bed half-awake and half-asleep, I loved to hear him cry out to God and worship the Lord. My father loved God, and I loved that about my father.
Nowadays, he doesn't talk on the phone, and he doesn't lead in prayer.
The truth is . . . he rarely puts a sentence together anymore.
But when he dreams at night, I believe he's in his right mind.
A few nights ago, dad was talking in his sleep. My mother woke up and began to listen closely to understand what he was saying.
He got up out of bed and stood in the center of the room. Dad pointed and said, "You pray." Then, as if looking at another person in the room he said, "You pray." Once again, he turned and said, "If you pray too, it's like we have a prayer chain . . . the prayer of agreement. God will answer our prayers."
Mom immediately said, "John, what would you like to pray about?"
Right then, mom said it's as if Dad woke up. He didn't know what she was talking about, and he was confused. Mom gently put him back to bed.
Acts. 2:17 says, "Your young men will see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Perhaps my father is still on this earth to dream dreams. What if, in the spirit realm, my father is seeing future events? What if he is praying and interceding with the angels?
Another time my father sat up in bed and said, "We have to be united."
What if he is prophesying as he sleeps?
My grandfather always prayed this scripture over his children, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13) Sometimes I question why God doesn't go ahead and take my father home to be with Jesus. But I have to trust that it's God's good will and pleasure to allow my dad to live with dementia. How comforting and encouraging to realize that my Dad is still able to minister during the night! What a powerful nighttime warrior against the enemy!
Good night Dad, sleep well. Keep praying and prophesying and dreaming dreams . . .
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Lori Stewart is the guest segment producer at The 700 Club. She’s also a pastor’s wife and Creative Director at 3n1 Church in Suffolk, Va. She and her husband Matt have three teenagers and a Rhodesian ridgeback, Roxy. When Lori gets inspired, she writes for her blog, www.thepastorswifesurvivalguide.blogspot.com. She enjoys date nights, movies, bargain shopping, and hanging out with her kids.
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