Does God answer prayer about suicidal thoughts? Not in the way I wished he would. I wanted him to take away the anguish. I wanted him to stop the Whisperer when he was telling me to just go ahead and do it.
I imagine that Job felt pretty much the same. He also had to deal with friends telling him his problems were his fault. At least I didn’t have people sitting around telling me I am the cause of all my problems like poor Job. Or if I did I coud just leave. But Job had nowhere to go. His house was gone, his fortune was gone and his children who might have defended him were dead. His wife wasn’t on his side either. She just told him to curse God and die. Job was sitting on an ash heap which means he was in the city dump.
So, why pray when we are suicidal? First, to offer our suffering to God. He tells us we are to make up in our bodies that which is lacking in the suffering of Christ (Col 1:24). Now how could there be anything lacking in the suffering of Christ? There couldn’t be unless God intended to leave some aspect of redemption for us frail humans to make up for in our own sufferings. Therefore God is letting us participate in helping another person be saved or helped by our sufferings. Think of that. That puts my anguish in a different perspective. If my sufferings are somehow used by God to help some lost soul find his way to God then I will suffer more willingly.
Second, God allows us to go through trials and he does. Then suicidal thoughts are certainly a trial. To find out if my suicidal thoughts were a trial, the first thing I did was ask God if this suffering is because of sin. Each day I asked. I couldn’t just assume because they were yesterday that today my suffering is a trial. It may be. but It also might be caused by sin. Keeping a clear conscience with God is vital. I make sure I confess my sins every day and ask forgiveness. Then if I have suicidal thoughts I can attribute them to a trial by God. I have Abraham and Job as my heroes in this.
Finally our fidelity in trial gives God glory. This is hard to understand. In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to his upcoming passion as giving glory to the Father. In Jn 21:19 Jesus refers to the future death of Peter, which was crucifixion, as giving glory to God. Job’s suffering without cursing God also glorified God. The glory is the faithfulness of the follower when there is no benefit for him, quite the contrary when everything seems to be against him and God seems distant.
So there are three reasons to endure the temptation to suicide. I found that I could just say no and the Whisperer was impotent. Praying helped me to endure the temptation. Once I understood that the temptation wasn’t punishment but it was a trial I God strengthened me to endure it.
Friend, don’t do it. Just get through the next hour, the next 5 minutes. Get out of the house. Go anywhere, call a friend. Send me your email with your phone number and I will talk with you. Pray and God will answer. He won’t necessarily take away the temptation but he will help you get through it.