It is spoken against in The Word:
In suicide murder? Yes, self murder. It is spoken against in The Word.
Israelites to acknowledge the Lord as God. However, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were not convinced. They promised to execute Elijah by morning. “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!’” (1 Kgs 19:4). Note—if he really wanted to die, he could have turned himself in!
When God made him confess how he felt, Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts;…I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (1 Kgs 19:10). Elijah felt isolated and ineffective. But God fed him “Angel Food Cake,” let him sleep, corrected his faulty thinking that he was the only one true to God, and sent him back to work with a new companion. By the way, Elijah never did die.
Job: God is Unfair
Job’s sufferings caused him to curse the day he was born and wish to die. “Why did I not die at birth?…Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, who long for death, but it does not come, and search for it more than hidden treasures; who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they can find the
grave?” (Job 3:11, 20-22).
Job kept bringing his questions to God, who eventually “answered” him with a series of questions, which Job could not answer. This taught Job that he did not need to know God’s reasons, but to rest in God’s compassion and mercy (Jas 5:11).
Jonah: Angry at God
Jonah, God’s rebellious servant, wanted Ninevah destroyed, not evangelized. So God gave Jonah a time-out in a dark, turbulent, slimy, and stinky place. Jonah repented and preached in Ninevah. They repented, and God withheld His judgment—just what Jonah feared! “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said…‘Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!’” (Jonah 4:1, 3).
Jonah’s last recorded words were, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death” (Jonah 4:9). Scripture does not say what happened to Jonah after that. However, if he wrote the book hat bears his name, he understood the truth of God’s compassion (Jonah 4:2).
Paul: Overwhelmed by Trials
After his conversion, Saul the persecutor of Christians, became Paul the persecuted. In 2 Cor 11:23-28, he listed some of the beatings, imprisonments, and shipwrecks he endured. About his trouble in Asia he said, “We were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor 1:8).
We have examined both Old and New Testaments and still there are more. A word needs to be shared on this.
But Paul had learned that when he was weak, God’s grace was sufficient to give him strength (2 Cor 3:5; 12:9-10). In fact, Paul said that facing death had a distinct benefit: “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:9).
The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Five of these men were noted for their wickedness (the exception is Saul’s armor-bearer—nothing is said of his character). Some consider Samson’s death an instance of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself.
Many people who are suffering from terminal illness, painful conditions, or intense sadness or emotional pain want to die. Those who are suffering wonder if they can just ask God to take their lives. Is this a form of suicide? Will God take us to heaven if we pray to die? The question that also arises is whether such a prayer is sinful.
Wanting to die and escape from suffering, whether emotional or physical, is a very human condition. Even the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). This was the humanity of Jesus speaking. Jesus knew what lay ahead at the cross, but notice that He submitted to God’s will. In all things, Jesus submitted Himself to the will of the Father (John 5:30). In the Garden, Jesus verified that there are times when it is necessary to suffer, and He willingly suffered because it was the will of the Father.
As believers we are always to pray, “Your will be done.” None of us will die before it is our time, even if we want to die. David verifies the truth that all our days are planned out by God and nothing will shorten them outside of God’s will: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Rather than praying to die, it is better to pray for God’s strength and grace to stand fast in whatever suffering we are experiencing and trust in God to determine the time and the details of our passing.
Suffering is hard, and sometimes the hardest part is the questions we have about why. Suffering is humbling, and as humans we don’t like being humbled or weak and dependent. But when we ask, “Why me, Lord?” the answer may just be “Why not you?” When born-again believers suffer on this earth, God has a purpose for that suffering, and His plans and purposes are perfect and holy, just as He is perfect and holy. The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are perfect, then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind, as He reminds us in Isaiah 55:8–9.
The apostle Paul suffered from a “thorn in his flesh”—some affliction that is not explained in the Bible—and three times he prayed for the Lord to remove that thorn. But God, who could have eased Paul’s suffering in an instant, chose not to do so. He reminded Paul that the “thorn” was to keep him from becoming proud and “exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations” he had been given, to keep him from exalting himself. But God did not leave Paul powerless to suffer alone. God assured him that the grace he had been given by God was “sufficient” and that God would be glorified by Paul’s reliance on His power to sustain him. Paul’s response to these truths was to be glad of his frailty and sufferings because in them God is glorified when the miracle of His power and strength are on display (2 Corinthians 12:7–10). Therefore, rather than seeking to escape from suffering of any kind through death, we depend upon God and rest in Him, for His purpose in suffering will always bring glory to Him and abound to our blessing.
When we are under the intense pressure of suffering, we sometimes feel like we simply can’t go on any longer. But God reminds us that there is no suffering or trial that comes upon a believer that someone else hasn’t gone through before us. Other believers have suffered pain that could not be alleviated by modern medicine. Other believers have suffered persecution and hideous deaths at the hands of God-haters. Other believers have been lonely and abandoned, some imprisoned for their testimony. So we are certainly not alone. But God is always faithful, and He will not allow us to suffer or be tested above what we can withstand and will also make a way to escape so that we are able to bear up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Finally, to answer the question of whether it is actually sinful to pray to die, quite simply it may come down to the principle “whatever is not of faith, is sin” (Romans 14:23). In other words, if our inner man says that it is sin, then to us it is sin. There is also the Scripture that says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:17). There is only one sin that keeps us out of heaven, and that is the sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. But praying to God to allow us to die can be sin because doing so indicates a lack of faith. A better prayer would be “God, you have promised to sustain me through any trial. I beg you to take away my hopelessness, comfort me with your presence, and uphold me with your strong right hand. But in all things, not my will but yours be done. Amen.”
Even though we make so many mistakes, God is gracious, and that is something to praise Him for. He wants us to praise Him daily. He is worthy to be praised from everlasting to everlasting. Once we are in heaven with Him, we will spend countless hours praising Him for who He is and His goodness.