We in the community of Christian faith offer prayer to the Great Physician for healing for our suicidal brothers and sisters. We stand firm with them because their hope is eroded, and we claim for them our faithful certainty in the God who is present, loving and sovereign. We lament the brokenness of this world, and wait for God to redeem all suffering and create a new heaven and earth.
One misconception is that real Christians don’t become suicidal.
Only God knows if you are a Christian.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, do not question your faith- lean on your faith.
Religion can protect against suicide: using faith practices like prayer and reading scripture to cope, having moral objections to suicide, having reasons to live, belonging to a faith community, and having a place to contribute in a meaningful way. In my mind, these protective factors offer great hope and healing.
If you don’t know where to find help, please, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—a free, 24-hour confidential hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress including veterans and Spanish speakers (1-800-273-TALK).
Be concerned about all jokes about suicide. About three-fourths of people talked to someone else about their suicidal thinking before killing themselves. Taking all talk of suicide seriously (no matter how many times the person may have threatened suicide) is very important.
Christians sometimes repeat misconceptions such as “Prayer is all a Christian needs for healing.” God is the healer of all our diseases (Ps 103:3), so Christians ought to ask God for healing.
However, healing often also requires the use of treatment. For example, when Paul recommends that Timothy use a little wine because of his frequent illnesses (1 Tim 5:23), he didn’t recommend prayer alone. With that being said, seek expert advice and help- don’t resort to alcohol or other mind-altering substances.
Resources On Suicide Prevention:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (sprc.org)
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org)
- American Association of Suicidology (suicidology.org)
- Kay Redfield Jamison’s Night Falls Fast: Understanding suicide (New York, NY: Vingage, 1999)
- Thomas Joiner’s Why People Die by Suicide (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005).
- Lloyd and Gwen Carr’s Fierce Goodbye: Living In the Shadow of Suicide (Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2004)
- Dave Biebel and Suzanne Foster’s Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005)
- Al Hsu’s Grieving a Suicide: a Loved One’s Search for Comfort, Answers & Hope (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002)
- Kathryn Green-McCreight’s Darkness Is My Only Companion: a Christian Response to Mental Illness(Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006).