This prayer was prompted by the recent tragedy of the death of Robin Williams, one of my favorite actors and an immeasurably talented man. It has also called to mind people I’ve known who despaired and took their own lives. May they rest in peace. Lord, have mercy.
Sometimes I succumb to fear when I hear news about those who have reached the end of hope.
They’ve fought off the monster of depression for as long as they can
And they come to the point where for them, it is easier to leave this world than stay one more day and fight the beast.
Lord, when we hear news of someone’s suicide,
Give us hearts of compassion.
Help us to bite our tongues when we are tempted to speak words of judgment.
Guide us to put ourselves in that person’s shoes and imagine what he or she must have been dealing with. Help us to respond to the family and friends in ways that are helpful.
Mostly, help us to be comforting presences when we can and to listen more than talk.
Loving God, be with those whose families are touched by suicide. Your loving heart is with them, and you hurt along with them.
Show us ways to have conversation with our family, friends, and colleagues about depression. Guide us to recognize that depression is just as real an illness as any physical infirmity. Grant us wisdom in knowing what to do.
Thank you for hearing my prayer and understanding the words I want to say but can’t right now.