1.-Ask God to guide you in all that you do. 2.-Ask God to help you to hear what He wants you to do. 3. Pray for that one considering suicide.
Thank God He is the God of peace and pray that your friend would be overwhelmed by the peace of God.
Plead the blood of Christ over the situation.
I cannot emphasize prayer strongly enough. It is foundational, especially in this situation! 4. Make Psalm 141:3 your prayer! It is the Scripture at the top of this page.
Be A Very Good Listener-
You will certainly be of immense help by listening well to your friend. Interrupt rarely. Let your friend talk. Be patient as they do so. It might be good to ask a HARMLESS question occasionally. Hopefully your friend will take that as a sign that you are listening.
Even if you sense that this is what they are looking for, go ahead and vocally affirm this to them.
Affirm God's Love And Concern For Them-
Even if you know that this person might be steeped in sin, separate in your mind sin from sinner and realize that
God wants to demonstrate His love to all. They might feel that God is punishing them. Assure them that whatever is happening that God wants them to come to Him and turn their lives completely over to Christ. Point out the forgiveness of God and His cleansing power. Point out that there is real life in Christ. Show them that Jesus is the answer.
Attempt To Lead Them To Christ-
This would be the ultimate cure for their present state.
If they catch you doing so, affirm your love/concern for them.
If They Haven't Mentioned Suicide, but . . .-
...you sense that this is what they are considering, in a wise way ask if they are thinking about suicide. If they admit to it, encourage them to immediately seek help.
Encourage Them To Talk To Others-
If you can suggest a Christian led by the Holy Spirit, - that would be great. Suggest also, parents, teachers, clergy, doctors, etc.
Say Something Positive About Them-
This is a great thought to keep in mind for long-range prevention. What I mean is that various people are born with various mental dispositions. Perhaps you have seen a theoretical chart describing four basic personality types- Choleric, Phlegmatic, Sanguine, and Melancholy. Each group can have both positive and negative attitudes and demeanor. So often, those, like myself, who have somewhat of a Melancholy disposition are prone to depression. Sometimes we "down" ourselves. This is particularly treacherous for pre teens and teenagers. As I told you on the main suicide prevention page, I had attempted suicide at 17. One thing that helped to stop me was something that was said by my sister, Pat Wurtemberg a few years before that as I was going through puberty. In my mind at times I was a fat, weak, worthless thing. I felt ugly and dirty. Yet, one day, Pat said to me "You're going to be handsome when you grow up." Now, I know that is a matter of opinion, but,
that one simple statement gave me just another small glimmering reason NOT to commit suicide. Mind, you, - this was my own sister whom I had often teased and hounded!
Now this is NOT to say that the other 3 mental dispositions are immune from suicidal tendencies. Even your happy-go-lucky Sanguine friend can be routed by satan to end it all. Also, each person is a mix of more than one disposition. One will predominate of course, but there are elements of at least one more. In my case, though I am predominately Melancholy, I am a bit Phlegmatic and a bit Choleric. So, your friend or relative who is predominately Choleric, Phlegmatic or Sanguine, might have a touch of Melancholy in them.
Be honest in your statements, and do not wait for suicidal tendencies to appear. Especially in your family, find something positive about each person and tell them so. This might require humility and sometimes forgiveness on your part.
Also, a true, positive statement in the short term will help.
If You Do The Cooking . . .-
...I highly recommend that you increase the B-Complex, B-12, and Tryptophan content of this friend's diet. I address this point in my discussions of Overcoming Depression.
Encourage A Medical Examination-
The desire to commit suicide might be medically related. In the event your friend thinks they have a terminal disease but refuses to find out for sure from an examination, let them know that weekly there are new advances in medicine. Also, Jesus is the Great Physician.
Encourage them to get out of the house and help others. Have them help you with something. Say something like ."..I need your help with...." The word "need" is very powerful in cases like this.