According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, America’s suicide rate is estimated at 12 suicides for every 100,000 people. Though updated in 2009, the trend since 2000 has been a steady upward climb. This not only suggests that you may be seeing more of these in the future, but also that you may even experience funerals in which more of your close friends inflict this means of death upon themselves.
Whether you have personally contemplated suicide or not, chances are likely that many of you have experienced various distresses and reproaches that you would never want to experience again. What did you do during those times?
Perhaps you took an example from Nehemiah. In the first chapter, we find the children of Israel in a terrible state (yet again). From Nehemiah’s example, however, we learn one powerful truth–namely, that strength and ability is gained through communication with God (1:4-11). To help us understand this message, Nehemiah gives three truths of support. First, he reveals that prayer helps us remember God’s expectations. The Israelites were to praise God, love Him, keep His commandments (1:5), be concerned for others, acknowledge mistakes (1:6), do what God specified (1:7), be faithful to Him (1:9), serve Him, and revere Him (1:10). Second, he reveals that prayer helps us remember God’s promises. He describes Moses and how God would be with the nation of Israel as long as they were faithful to Him (1:8). Third, he reveals that prayer helps us understand our mistakes. Nehemiah confesses the sins of the people (1:6) and references them specifically (1:7). God wanted His people to know the importance of prayer and communication with Him.
When you face great distress and reproach (1:4), life will be hard. Still, prayer is one appropriate response because of what it does for us. God wants you to know that He is the source of our strength. He wants us to pray to Him for granted opportunities and stronger trust in His will. When you know that your prayers will be answered, how would your life change today with a simple switch toward a stronger prayer life?
This week, when you are in distress…pray. Try what I tried; gather at least five index cards and scotch tape. On those cards, write the phrase, “HE is here.” Finally, post these in obvious locations (each room of your house, car, cubicle, etc). This really helps.
Don’t let your prayers commit suicide.