Is it okay to pray for death?

I am not trained in psychology, theology, or the sort. Here is my two cents, which are worth 1/2 a penny. Get on YouTube or something similar and listen to the song “I Can Only Imagine” (I am not a member of the band or a paid endorser!). Then, imagine what it may be like to be with Jesus. Do that instead of praying for death right now. That song has brought me through some rough spiritual times.

I had a strange (I wouldnt call it vision but a vivid picture in the imagination last night in bed while the mind was being tormented) of something being bombarded with projectiles and it was my mind being attacked with temptation, guilt, shame, and despair.

The (whatever it was) made it into a castle and none of the projectiles could penetrate the walls. That Castle was Jesus Christ.

The mind is safe from attack when it reposes in Christ.

I’ve kinda sorta had that. Christian is a loose relative watered down word these days.

I know the feeling. This is pretty much my exact state of mind. Suicide is not a viable option to the whole hell thing, but it sucks there aren’t any other viable options. :slight_smile:

Based on the results with my sister who has suffered sever clinical depression due to sexual abuse as a child she got absolutely zero results from secular treatment, shock treatment and untold medications yet with Christian therapy she is much better after a year. After all it is the power of Christ that heals.

Matt, I wish I had the words to tell you how I got rescued from an experience like yours. Never-having-lived seemed so ideal. Life is such a struggle. Being good is not something I can maintain for long. Death, heaven, is good. If I kill myself, I’ve really messed up…
I was all about me! I valued me completely, so it’s odd I did not value my life. But that’s how it was.
2 big things happened. It took time. I hated that. I became aware that I could trust God. I did not need to be good all by myself. In fact, I can’t be good at all without him. He likes it when I repent, when I improve The other is medication for a mood disorder. Now that I’ve gotten comfortable being aware that I’m a sick sinner, I’m able to relax most of the time and enjoy life most of the time.
So the treatment involves care of all of me, prayer, sacraments, exercise, meds. And, as much as I can, I try to give time, company, an ear…whatever I can to the folks still struggling in this mess.
Matt, join me in praying for you

Just so you know, you are not alone. For reasons that remain unclear to me, I’ve lived most of my life hoping to die. The first suicide attempt I can remember was about age 8. For me it is like an overwhelming exhaustion that never ends. The only advice I can offer, since your faith obviously matters a great deal to you, is to seek out resources through the church, From what you have said, I think that route offers the best chance for success.

What I dont understand is catholics tell me despair is pride because, you think somehow your sins are too great for God’s mercy, or that He could not possibly love you.

Well, it isnt an issue of me thinking He doesnt love me. I dont even doubt that.

It’s just im sick of getting out of bed in the morning and feeling miserable and wasting talent and wondering what Im suppose to do with my life which just leads to more misery, wasted time, a resolution that I dont stick to, guilt…

Basically, I dont see how it’s an issue of pride. I hate myself and which my mother had aborted me so I could go to limbo; a place of bliss and no worries.

These feelings sound a lot like what I was going through about this time last year. My priest also told me that such feelings (despair, self-hatred, scrupulosity) are rooted in pride, and it took me quite a while to really understand what he meant.

The parts of your post that I underlined are the key. When you hate yourself, aren’t you thinking something along the lines of “I don’t like the way I am, and I should be better than this”? If so, that’s a double-dose of pride, because you’re saying 1) I shouldn’t have to experience this suffering and 2) God isn’t doing a very good job of planning things.

Not to downplay at all what you’re going through, because I remember clearly how awful it felt, but we’re all asked to carry a cross. This one appears to be yours, at least for right now. It seems to me that you’re having trouble accepting the fact that you’re imperfect. At least that was my problem… :smiley: I was freaking out over my sins and panicking because I felt I wasn’t making “enough” progress. After reading a few wonderful books I’ve learned that I need to stop trying to change myself and allow God to change me. Not easy to do, because my pride continues to tell me that I should be in control of my salvation!

I would encourage you to read the following list if you’re able:

Abandonment to Divine Providence - (available free online because it’s so old :))

Story of a Soul - The Autobiography of St. Therese of Liseux - (also free online ;))

The Imitation of Christ - (guess how much it costs… :D)

Also, I have clinical depression and had to switch to a new anti-depressant, but the books and prayer were a bigger part of my recovery I would say.

Don’t give up. :thumbsup:

hi, i read little empathy in the many messages to you; well i share the problem/or yet is it a problem ? how about this-try reviewing an inquiry into time/time itself…not just the arbitrary measurement of the clock-more like those garden clocks-with that peak of a shadow that point on the sun dial…/the silent garden clock/or the abstraction of time is best felt , not as chronological, as in once any event happens it is all over, so to speak/rather God’s time, including things eternal/expand on that idea-such as when the angel says to Mary, Hail Mary full of Grace; this would not just be counted once-not so chronological/No, rather Mary earns a title "full of Grace/Her new name/ this even jumps forward in time, not being so chronological as though ordering a hamburger at Mcdonalds, (once it happens it is all over); so the gospels have much to examine to jump forward repeating…this compares to a clock of oblivion verses God’s time…perhaps helpful (at least to me) is the old testement Elijah-combined with the old testement story -when the profit ran to the wilderness-to escape a jezabel/and asked God for death (note that i said he asked God) the events and plot unfold for a victory-interesting as a side note that the very contemplative carmelites appreciate the setting , carmel- try this , taking Elijah’s example-record in a journal, nevertheless thoughts dark or not, writing poetry, this may not be pretty, even near blasphmy-dark things surface, but at least they surface to deal with…enter the wilderness…for a little while in God’s time…a few pages later-there is hindsight to express more of , not up tight religious theology-some ones’ advice, rather a trend changes-then writing more-don’t forget to tell God that you love Him…hope that helps…patrick

Your reasons for wanting God to take your life are not wrong. The best reason for wanting to die that I can think of is to be with God and love Him forever in Heaven, free from the danger of ever falling into another mortal sin/free from ever offending Him again. God bless you.


You were created for nothing less than heaven! You sin because you still have the effect of original sin. This makes it impossible for all of us to stay free from sin for all our lives. NOBODY has the ability to defeat sin without the power of God. Entrust your sins to Jesus the the blessed mother. Take sin seriously because its a big deal but when it happens get excited for the prospect of confession. You should never let it get you down. In your lowest times talk to someone. I hope you can find happiness in being alive. Take joy in your life, take joy in the Eucharist. You have endless opportunities to do good and make your life a good one. I hope you get through this. I will pray for you.

Message me man if you want to talk further,


P.S. I think it might do you some good to research and obtain a brown scapular.

I believe we are called to live the life that God gives us, and live it well. Pining for an early end to it is likely to detract from the calibre of life we live, and IMHO, is not commendable.

I suspect few people freely choose that course (praying for an early exit), and such an outlook may suggest the need for assistance, be it spiritual or otherwise.

The OP is not wrong AT ALL to want God to take his life for the reasons he has given, especially seeing his life is hard; and there is nothing sinful or escapist about what he says. Like him, some saints have preferred to die rather than to fall into a mortal sin and to offend God. If the OP were suicidal and wanted to take his own life, this would be a very, very different story and I would not be defending him – but this is not the case here. Perhaps if you knew more about the saints and what the Church teaches on this matter you would not think our OP is being escapist or anything harmful to himself. – you would be able to see something meritorious As I said, I have read the Church’s teaching on this matter and this OP is not wrong to think the way he does. Not everybody wants to remain on this earth, this place of dangerous peril. It is actually meritorious to be so detached from it the way our OP is. As long as he is not running away from fulfilling his daily duties and is in union with God he can think such thoughts and be very pleasing to God.

Dear OP, there is nothing wrong with your feelings about wanting God to take your life, especially if your life is hard. I have read in very holy books that saints, like you, have preferred to have God take their lives than to commit a mortal sin or another grave offense against God. So long as you accept the Will of God in your life and are self-abandoned to HIs Divine Providence with confidence in His infinite Mercy, such thoughts of yours can not be hurtful to you. They actually reflect the documented thoughts of several saints.

Matt, I’m right there with you. There isn’t a night that I go to sleep that I don’t hope that I don’t wake up the following morning. I’m not going to try and kill myself or anything like that; not so much that it is a sin, but because I’m too much of a coward to go through with it. Besides, I’d probably screw that up too and survive.

However, my family has a history of heart disease so I’m hoping that is what does me in. Hurting yourself is one thing, but I see nothing wrong with the natural process taking its course. I’ve already told my doctor that if something happens, they can resuscitate me one time, but after that it’s DNR.

Thanks. That’s good to know.

Dear Lost_Sheep,

Still, be 100% resigned to God’s Will for you, accepting all that He sends you, good and bad, with surrender and self-abandonment to His holy Will and divine Providence. God bless you.

Have courage to live…it takes work. No one is going to hand it to you on a silver platter. If you can’t help yourself, there are millions of people who need you. You can visit someone you know is in need of friendship, or call someone. We can all give something if only a prayer for another soul. God has blessed you with this time. Use it well. Praying for you to have courage and not despair.

The fact is many saints and important persons in the Old Testament prayed for death to be with God so this appears not to be bad. I have done this and still do this at times because I have been for a very long time tired of this world and it’s lies and of course my offenses to God. I have come to the conclusion that God has destined certain people to suffer and not know complete happiness in this world and I am one of them. I realize some people do not have this experience and they should consider it a blessing, but God has not destined this for everyone. Saint Bernadette is a good example.

I’m sure there are Christian psychiatrists, and even those that are not have heard of heaven. They won’t think you’re nuts for this belief. They will be concerned that you think about suicide however.

I confess to not knowing the church teaching that you refer to, or the story of those Saints you refer to. But I do know that:
1). Not every act or thought of a saint is to be taken as a positive which ought to be emulated by another person in their unique circumstances;
2). The OP is suffering some mental torment and is or has been hospitalised as a result, and this may have a bearing on his thinking.

I don’t believe a desperately unhappy person would be held particularly culpable for being attracted to the idea of never having lived, or dying in their sleep, or for entertaining suicidal thoughts (or worse). So while I don’t think praying to die has great merit, in the circumstances, I also don’t see culpability for a wrong either. But I would pray first for the OP to overcome his trials and reach his potential on earth.

A link to relevant Church teaching on the matter would be appreciated.

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