By Monty Spencer
Assistant Chaplain Kootenai County Sheriffs Office

As an assistant volunteer chaplain for the Kootenai County Sheriffs during the past twenty years, I have experienced several suicide-involved deaths. It is a very unpleasant, emotionally difficult situation for all involved. Unfortunately there is not much one can say to ease the pain from a multitude of emotions which loved ones experience after a suicide. The only thing one can do is pray, asking God to comfort their hearts. Suicide is a sad and terrible tragedy.
What causes suicide? Many factors attribute to suicide, but most psychologists say depression and I tend to agree. But what causes depression? A bad day at work, relationship trouble, stress, loneliness, drug addiction. Many things can cause depression. I believe the root of depression is demonic. When talking with inmates over the years during Bible studies, church services, or one on one, I often ask them if they have ever heard a voice inside of them saying, ”You’re a loser, you’re nothing. Why don’t you just kill yourself? Maybe not those exact words, but something close to them.” Every hand in the room goes up. Whether people want to admit it or not, at one time or another we have all heard a negative voice condemning us. This voice is demonic. The devil is a thief and a liar and he wants to destroy us. A thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy (John I 0: I 0). Depression is one of the devil’s tactics to destroy.
There are demons, the devil’s minions, who roam this earth and influence the actions of man. Man is vulnerable to this influence (Matthew 12:43-45). The devil tried to influence Jesus, God in human flesh, (Matthew 4, Mark l: 13, Luke 4: 1-15), so he will try to influence us also. Let us remember, ”We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). The only way to battle this demonic force is through prayer. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God ....” (2 Corinthians I0:3-5a). There is no other way except through prayer, period!
This is a call to action. “Beware, lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of this world and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8).”Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day .... praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints ...” (Ephesians 6: 13-18) Pray!