I’ve discovered that powerful prayer is often motivated by a great dream. A God-given dream is so important that without such vision, people can often wander astray (Proverbs 29:18). Mothers raising their children in at-risk neighborhoods tell me that vision, with its sense of focus and obedience to God’s Word, can divert their children from drugs, gangs, and prison. These moms understand that God-inspired dreams are often a means of survival.
My young friend Dominique was just 10 when some gang members befriended him. “I was kind of a mascot,” as he puts it. But gang mascots eventually become gang members, and he was headed for trouble. One day, Dominique discovered an online chess game. He got the hang of it and became good—really good. Before too long, he was “busy” when gang members called. Dominique was way too busy finding his purpose to run with gangs.
By the time he was in high school, Dominique had become the top chess player in the state of North Carolina’s Scholastic Chess Association. In his application to the Christian college he attended, Dominique wrote: “By getting closer to the One who allowed me this chance, and continuing with the plan that we dreamed up together when I was a young child, I feel that I will be able to help someone else and make a lasting impact on the world.”
Though his family didn’t attend church, Dominique said that even as a small child, he had a sense of God’s destiny and a mysterious awareness of his calling through those childhood dreams of playing chess. And when he eventually heard a clear presentation of the Gospel during his first semester in college, this vibrant young man accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Dominique’s earthly dreams had eternal implications that went far beyond the mastery of chess. Mother Teresa put it this way: Tread gently around the dreams of a child. You might be treading on the dreams of God.