If you are reading this, you are likely wondering how to help someone very close to you who is walking through deep darkness. How challenging and daunting! So how can you help your suicidal friend?
We cannot say all there is to be said, but we found two Bible verses that we believe will be very helpful to you.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 NIV)
“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 22-23 ESV)
First, listen. Be slow to speak. Your friend is deeply hurting, and pat answers won’t do. God doesn’t always give us the why behind suffering or even the way out of it. But he gives us hope through his Word to carry us through it.
He gives us his hand to hold as we wade through dark times, and often he gives us the hand of a good friend too! Listen well. There may be a period of time when it’s best to just stick by your friend’s side before you find words to say (Job 2:13).
But sometimes words are necessary, and you might be one of the few people your friend is willing to hear (Esther 4:14). You have the opportunity to speak truth in love. Offer genuine hope for your friend’s despair. Help them see the hope of Jesus for sinners and sufferers.
Encourage your friend to fear God and not harm themselves, warn them of the seriousness of their actions, and help them consider Jesus Christ, who is our light and life. Hope is not found in ending life, but in receiving new life from Jesus (John 17:3; John 14:6).
Lastly, pray. Plead to God on your friend’s behalf. He can work in any life, in any situation. If you don’t know what to pray, consider the prayer listed at the bottom of this page, Ephesians 3:14-21, which God gave to help us plead for his strength.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)