"Prayer is Warfare" Dream
February 25, 2023
I remember many of the dreams that I've had over the years, but this dream was special. There was a quality about it, a sense of the supernatural or of a real presence. Marcel and I were still living in New Brunswick on our 40 acres, a place God had brought us to for a season in order to form us more deeply in the "ancient ways and truths" of our Catholic faith. I was given the dream in March 2007, about a year and a half before our move back to Ottawa and both Marcel and I have never forgotten it:
I was in a sort of classroom. I was aware of others in the room with me but I didn't know them. Seated at a desk, I had a sheet in front of me. On this sheet there was a picture and on the bottom were little rectangles with very bright and colourful pictures in them; a bit like the icons on a computer. I was in the process of erasing these rectangles by scratching them out with my right thumb nail in order to keep the main picture, which was of a lion.
On the other side of the room, to my right and next to the door, was a Lion; Aslan-like, Christ-like. He was heading my way and I wanted to finish what I was doing in order to show him. My sheet was up off the desk as I was working so I didn't see him arrive. But I heard the following words said in a deep, peaceful voice:
"Prayer is Warfare",
with a great emphasis on the word "is".
The sense I had in the dream as the Lion spoke those words is that work was good and needed but that prayer was so much more powerful and effective than I could imagine. The Lion was trying to make me understand this and I felt the depth and power of His words.
Not my picture in the dream, but this is clearly a hand-drawn lion.
This lion is very much the real deal, as I saw him in my dream.
There isn't much interpretation needed for this dream because the message is quite obvious and straightforward: PRAYER - IS - WARFARE! Of course, the Lord has always encouraged me to keep up my prayer life for all its benefits such as intimacy with Him, holiness of life, revelation about my mission and these kinds of fruits but in this dream, He was letting me know unequivocally that every time I went to prayer, I was also engaging in an act of real warfare against the enemy of my soul. EVERY TIME! He wanted me to know that every moment of prayer would weaken the enemy and strengthen the Kingdom.
I believe the reason Jesus chose to present himself to me as a lion is because he knew it would remind me of the following scripture from Revelation 5:5, "Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed." which is a scripture that forcefully and joyfully declares that Jesus has overcome hell and death and the devil. Jesus ensured our salvation by winning the war and overcoming all the enemies of our soul. But I think He also came as a lion because He knew that I was a big fan of the Narnia Chronicles!
There is of course some other symbolism in the dream such as the classroom. By placing me in a classroom setting the Lord was telling me that I was indeed in a season where I needed to learn some deeper things about the spiritual life. The fact that I didn't know anyone else in the class simply means that at that time, there were other people in the church who were having to learn some similar things.
The part about the page with the drawing of the lion and the icons that I'm trying to erase has me a bit stumped but I tend to think that while in New Brunswick, I was at a point in my walk where I was really trying to get rid of a lot of little and good, but superfluous things in my life which would explain my attempts at erasing all the "little images" and keeping the Lion as the central focus of the page. It brought to mind another scripture from the gospel of Matthew where Peter, James and John are with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration. After having fallen to their faces and overcome with fear, Jesus tells them to stand up and not be afraid. It is then written, "And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but Jesus" (Matthew 17:8). To see no one but Jesus. That is what our life in Christ is really all about; for Jesus to be the focal point of all that we are and all that we do. It's all about the Lion filling up the whole "page" of our life.
Daily prayer is not easy. It takes a deep commitment of our heart and of our time but the lives of the saints show us that prayer is always at the heart of everything that they do. It must be our lifeblood because it is the only path to that deep intimacy with the One we long to serve.
But in this dream, the Lion taught me - with His deep, rich and resonant voice - that every single prayer that we utter is also an act of war that comes against the wiles and plans of the enemy because every time we pray, we declare that we belong to God and that He alone is the shepherd of our soul.
Every lifting of our heart towards Him, every single prayer either during the day or during our morning prayer time, every act of supplication or intercession, every movement of praise, every rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet and indeed any other prayer is in fact, warfare.
So, the thing to remember is the reality that when we pray, we are always unsheathing our sword, raising our shield, putting on our helmet and girding up our loins in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The Lion communicated all those truths with just three simple words. This kind of experience can happen in dreams where we hear and see things through the words and images presented to us, and we find ourselves quite capable of understanding the deeper meaning of the message that was spoken. It's only after we wake up that we often find it difficult to communicate the depth of the understanding or revelation that was given to us while slumbering peacefully in our beds.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.