Godly Wisdom for Suicide Prevention

By   •   September 9, 2010   •   Topics:

On World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on Sept. 10, 2012, and National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9 – 15, please take a moment to read these timeless answers from Billy Graham. While God is the only one who can truly save a life, you can play a part in suicide prevention.

“Whenever someone writes to say they’re thinking about taking their own life,” said Billy Graham, “I wish I could sit down with them and do everything I possibly could to encourage them and persuade them not to take that final, drastic step. No matter how hard life has gotten, I know that with God there is hope.”

Through the years in his My Answer column, Graham has responded to countless people struggling with suicidal thoughts of their own, or with loved ones contemplating suicide.

Writing to a couple who wondered whether their niece was serious when she threatened to end her own life, Graham said, “The worst thing that could happen would be for people around your niece to ignore what she is saying—and discover only after it’s too late that she was serious. Perhaps she isn’t—but most people who end up taking their lives send out at least some signals in advance.”

Graham understood that some suicides are preventable, which is the rallying cry of National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15, and World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10. These campaigns aim to raise awareness that suicide is preventable; improve education about suicide; and debunk myths surrounding the act.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people in 2007. While suicides accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually, they comprised 12.2 percent of all deaths among 15-24-year-olds.

The World Health Organization reports that almost 3,000 people commit suicide daily. And for every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.

But great despair, pain and loneliness doesn’t need to end in death. There is hope—eternal hope—in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Suicide is extremely serious and tragic in God’s eyes,” said Graham, “and if someone who is reading this is contemplating suicide, I beg of you to reconsider and seek help for whatever your problem may be. God loves you—whether you believe it or not—and He does not want you to end your life. Satan does, however—and you must not listen to him.”

Instead, “put your faith and hope in Christ and His love for you. You are never alone if you know Him,” Graham added, “because nothing ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:39).”

Turn to Him today, and by faith ask Christ to come into your life. “When we know Christ we are never alone,” said Graham. “He is with us, and so are our fellow Christians.”

Reach out for His loving hand today, and Save a Life—your own—for eternity.

If you need to talk to someone right away, please call 1-877-247-2426 or email help@bgea.org

Articles and some of Billy Graham’s columns about suicide:

To my horror, I found my wife had overdosed on my heart medicine and was dying before my eyes. A letter on my pillow said, “Forgive me, Eddie, but life just hurts too much.” Frantic, I called an ambulance, and she was rushed to the hospital where they pumped her stomach and saved her life.
Read ‘Love in Action’ »

I’ve just gotten out of the hospital after trying to take my own life. Things are better with me now and I don’t plan to go down that road again, but how can I be sure I won’t? Will God help me?
Read Billy Graham’s Answer »

I’ve just been diagnosed with an incurable disease that will leave me weaker and in more and more pain as the months go by. Can you give me any reason not to take my own life right now?
Billy Graham responds »

Our son died from an overdose of antidepressants. He had struggled with depression for years, and maybe it finally got to him (although maybe it was accidental – we’ll never know). He was a sincere Christian, but if he did take his life, does it mean he committed the unforgivable sin and lost his salvation?
Read Billy Graham’s answer »

Last year, a friend of mine committed suicide after a long battle with mental illness. I feel so guilty, because I should have seen the signs of what was happening and tried to help him but I didn’t. Can I ever put these feelings behind me?
Hope from Billy Graham »

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  1. Nick says:

    I honestly don’t know what else to do, I have sought help in every area possible, but this pain won’t go away, I feel cold and weak at times like it is physically killing me. God it seems has told me 5 things over a course of time; love, work, don’t give up, trust, and prepare. But how long must I endure this? I get like brief periods of rest but 23 hours out of the day I am in pain. I’ve been diagnosed bipolar possibly ADHD on top of it though I feel the root is a spiritual matter and then if thats fixed the rest will take care of itself. Honestly what can I do? I dont really want to kill myself but I don’t have God’s patience and I can’t live like this for the rest of my life, screw that.

    1. Nathalie says:

      Please try to seek God’s word. Get into a bible based church and accept Christ into your life. Ask God to come into your heart, forgive you and cleanse you of your sins. God gave you life, he pit you on earth for a specific reason. Everyone is unique, everyone has a gift. Pray and ask him to reveal it to you. Please don’t do this. You are very important, you matter to me.

  2. Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda says:

    Dear Sir

    My name is Balthazar and I need help; I have been contemplating suicide these days because I am struggling with my finances. I live in Denmark and I have been living on welfare for far too long. I want to work and gain my own wage. Please help me.

    Kind regards,


    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Balthazar,

      We are very glad you wrote us. We are very concerned that you have considered suicide, and we urge you not to take this drastic, final step. God loves you and wants what is best for you. He has a future for you — both on this earth and in eternity. Remember that you are important to Him. He says, “You are precious to me . . . and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). The very reason Jesus Christ came to earth to offer Himself in sacrifice is so that we might have life in all its fullness. It is His desire that we are set free from depression, fear, frustration and hurt so that we might experience this abundant life.

      Thoughts of taking your life do not come from God but from Satan. Jesus said, “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). We are warned in 1 Peter 5:8-10, “Be careful – watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord. . . . He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.”

      Give all your problems to Jesus and “cast all your anxiety on Him” (1 Peter 5:7). Then center your attention upon His love for you and His wonderful plan for your life. Rest in the assurance that Jesus will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

      God wants to help you if you will let Him, and so do others. God knows about your problems, and He also knows the answer to them. By yourself you may feel helpless, but with Christ’s help there is hope for tomorrow. He can bring good out of even the toughest situations.

      We urge you to begin by giving your life over to Jesus Christ (click the link below). Then share your problems with a pastor or with someone else who can help you and encourage you. We just said a prayer for you and will continue praying. You can also use the link below to connect with someone from our team.


      The Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255

      For some practical advice about how to live each day with God, click here: http://bit.ly/LivingDailyWithGod

      You might also be interested in this short video about God’s love for you: http://bit.ly/GodLovesYouVideo

      Or in this short note about unanswered prayer: http://bit.ly/UnansweredPrayer

  3. Thokozani says:

    please pray for my mom, last year October 28 we were involved in car accident and I lost my dad when the car flipped over the road, so now she feel too much burdens in her life, she even think to commit suicidal her name is Londiwe, I trust God never fails, we are Christians. Thanks.

  4. cynthia lopez says:

    Please pray for my friend, Daniel. The enemy has got a hold on him and my dear friend is now contemplating suicide but he is trying to fight it. I have reached out to HIm about God and how God forgives him and loves him but He needs us to intercede for him. Please join me in prayer for my friend. He has 4 beautiful children and a wonderful wife. I know a lot of us would hurt so much if he did this. Appreciate you all. God bless you.

  5. Elisa says:

    I still struggle with suicidal thoughts here and there, but gradually God is helping me demolish the semons that try to convince me that my life is not worth living, there is hope in christ today, tomorrow , forever more and now i know and now im free. If anyone just so happens to still bd struggling with suicidal thoughts : i want you to know that the devil is a lie! You are more than worth it! You are lived beyond the wildest imagination . I pray that you turn to christ for the peace, comfort and love you have always been looking for. You matter. Yes, you do. You are awsome! You are so important that someone was willing to die on a cross for you. Please seek help, call out to someone. Please. This world does not need to lose another awesome person! you have gifts/talents (wether they are uncommon are not) think of the amazing turn around that can happen if you just hold on . Please. You’re not alone ! please. Seek help. YOU WHO ARE THINKING OF SUICIDE : PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR LIFE IS SO PRECIOUS AND YOU ARE SO PRECIOUS. PLEASE SEEK HELP FROM CHRIST AND ANOTHER RELIABLE ADULT ! ! Please.

    1. S says:

      Thank you so so so much. I’ve been struggling with depression/anxiety. I needed to hear that right now.

      God bless. xoxo

    2. Minty says:

      Glad I found this…thank u. i’ve been struggling with suicide for a long time and it seems no one gets it…