Suicide: A Historical Perspective on Intercessory Prayer for Native America


Historical References and Anniversaries:

October 11, 1874 – Hopeless Kiowa War Chief, Satanta, Commits Suicide
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Satanta was described as despondent, sullen and broken in spirit. Synonyms could include discouraged, dejected, depressed, hopeless, desperate, and despairing. In many respects, Satanta’s condition and suicide reflect an epidemic found in indigenous communities throughout North America.

Recent Articles:

September 10, 2012 – Native Americans Have Highest Rate of Suicide
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September 3, 2012 – Tribal Music Fills Park with Vibe
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The above article quotes Jonathan Maracle, Founder and Lead Singer of Broken Walls, ( stating:

“The idea here is to build a relationship, and to say that our creator loves all of us,” Maracle said. “We’ve come a ways toward that, but really how far have we come if we have the highest suicide rate in the world among our people, and the highest alcoholism rate?”

One of the goals of Broken Walls is the break the cycle of suicide and encourage others to do the same.
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Additional Articles and Websites:

The Tragedy of Native American Youth Suicide
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American Indian Suicide Issues
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Native American Suicides per 100,000, Ages 0-19, IHS Areas, 1989-1998
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Suicide Among American Indians/Alaska Natives
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The Darkman… Suicide On The Reservations
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Suicide Rates – American Indian / First Nations – United States / Canada
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High Suicide Rate on Indian Reservation Near Epidemic Proportions
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Lawmaker vows to combat ‘tragedy’ of Indian suicide
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Scripture References:

Exodus 6:9; 1 Samuel 31:4-5; 1 Chronicles 10:4-5; 2 Samuel 17:23; Matthew 27:5; Acts 20:9; Leviticus 19:28, 21:5; Deuteronomy 14:1, 25:12; Jeremiah 16:6, 41:5-8, 47:5 & 48:37; Romans 13:9; Matthew 8:30-32 & Luke 8:31-32 (evil spirits cast into swine and drown); Mark 3:26-28 (bind the strong man); Luke 11:24-26 (a spirit returns with seven others)

“So I turned around and gave my heart up to despair over all the labor of my efforts under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 2:20, Amplified

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12, Amplified

“For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead. For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and [a] draw us to Himself], While you also cooperate by your prayers for us [helping and laboring together with us]. Thus [the lips of] many persons [turned toward God will eventually] give thanks on our behalf for the grace (the blessing of deliverance) granted us at the request of the many who have prayed.”
2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Amplified

“We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed; Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [[a] resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10, Amplified

“Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation [O Judah] and have not been mindful of the Rock of your strength, your Stronghold—therefore, you have planted pleasant nursery grounds and plantings [to Adonis, pots of quickly withered flowers used to set by their doors or in the courts of temples], and have set [the grounds] with vine slips of a strange [God], And in the day of your planting you hedge it in, and in the morning you make your seed to blossom, yet [promising as it is] the harvest shall be a heap of ruins and flee away in the day of expected possession and of desperate sorrow and sickening, incurable pain.”
Isaiah 17:10-11, Amplified.

“Why do you discourage the hearts of the Israelites from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? Thus your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land! For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the hearts of the Israelites from going into the land the Lord had given them.”
Numbers 32:7-9, Amplified

“And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.”
Numbers 21:4, Amplified

“Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has said to you. Fear not, neither be dismayed. Then you all came near to me and said, Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us and bring us word again by what way we should go up and the cities into which we shall come. The thing pleased me well, and I took twelve men of you, one for each tribe. And they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God gives us. Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God. You were peevish and discontented in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, He brought us forth out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. To what are we going up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, The people are bigger and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified to the heavens. And moreover we have seen the [giantlike] sons of the Anakim there. Then I said to you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God Who goes before you, He will fight for you just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, And in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God bore you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.”
Deuteronomy 1:21-31, Amplified

“Behold my [a] Servant, Whom I uphold, My elect in Whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice and right and reveal truth to the nations. He will not cry or shout aloud or cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will bring forth justice in truth. He will not fail or become weak or be crushed and discouraged till He has established justice in the earth; and the islands and coastal regions shall wait hopefully for Him and expect His direction and law. Thus says God the Lord—He Who created the heavens and stretched them forth, He Who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it, He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: I the Lord have called You [the Messiah] for a righteous purpose and in righteousness; I will take You by the hand and will keep You; I will give You for a covenant to the people [Israel], for a light to the nations [Gentiles], To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness from the prison. I am the Lord; that is My name! And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.”
Isaiah 42:1-8, Amplified

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 NIV

[ Ai Destroyed ] Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.”
Joshua 8:1 NIV

“Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”
Joshua 10:25 NIV

“Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
1 Chronicles 22:13 NIV

“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV

“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’”
2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.”
2 Chronicles 32:7 NIV

“Whoever is of God listens to God. [Those who belong to God hear the words of God.] This is the reason that you do not listen [to those words, to Me]: because you do not belong to God and are not of God or in harmony with Him.”
John 8:47 Amplified

“Therefore, since we do hold and engage in this ministry by the mercy of God [granting us favor, benefits, opportunities, and especially salvation], we do not get discouraged (spiritless and despondent with fear) or become faint with weariness and exhaustion.”
2 Corinthians 4:1 Amplified

“Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 Amplified

“Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]”
Colossians 3:21 Amplified

Prayer Regarding Suicide

“Father, Giver of Life, in the name of Your Son Jesus, Who gave His life, that We may be saved from eternal separation from You, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and according to Your perfect will, Yahweh, we ask that You guide us in how to pray regarding suicide among Your indigenous people of North America. Obviously this subject is not a surprise, nor is it hidden. There are people all over North America striving to heal hearts and end suicide. Yet, it is still at epidemic proportions. All Knowing Creator of All, how do we pray? Your Word shares stories of people who are discouraged, as well as those who have successfully committed suicide. Yet, there is no instruction on how You perceive it, why You allow it or why You intervene. Tell us how to pray! Your people, intercessors from around the globe, pray against the spirit of death and suicide and pray for well springs of life. We have every confidence that we are praying Your will. We know our prayers make a difference. It is by our faith and Your Word that we are sure You truly desire none to perish, and all to have eternal life. Perhaps, have our prayers been hindered in our beliefs that suicide is sin? Have our motives been misplaced? Has our ministry been ineffective? Has our limited view of death and dying in our prayers somehow opened a door to judgment and more bondage? Father, teach us how to truly pray life into desperate situations. Father, I am reminded of the time in Scripture when Jesus cast out the demons and they went into the pigs and drove the pigs into the water to drown. I am also reminded of the Scripture that speaks of how when an evil spirit is cast out, but the house is not secured, that 7 return in its place. Are these principles somehow connected? Guide us in how to pray hope and joyful expectation into the lives of those who are without. Father, we pray that all that comes against Your indigenous people, for the purpose of threatening abundant life of mankind on earth, be destroyed according to Your will. Father, we pray that all that brings ministry of hope and restoration among Your indigenous people be released according to Your will. We pray that each time a prayer against suicide successfully delivers a person and ‘clears their house’ that life fills the void. We pray that once the spirit of suicide departs, that it can not and will not return seven-fold or otherwise. We pray that as we cast out evil spirits, as they retreat in fear, that they do not go into other people through doors of vulnerability, but that they only find their place, powerless, at Your footstool. Father, we pray that the counter-productive myths, stereotypes and stigmas of suicide be removed according to Your perfect will. Father, we pray that Your truths and realities of suicide be made known according to Your will. Father, we pray that death and escape through suicide will no longer be an acceptable alternative to life for Your indigenous people, according to Your perfect will. Amen.”

Rev. Jeny Running Brook Covill
First Nations Monday

(Note: This is Part 1 of a study that was originally prepared in October 2012 in partnership with NIAP Prayer Shield)

Books Used in this 12 Month Study

The Holy Bible in the following translations: KJV, NIV, Amplified, NASB, CEV and The Scriptures.

“Church History in Plain Language” by Bruce L. Shelley

“Encyclopedia of Native American Wars & Warfare”. General Editors William B. Kessel, Ph.D. and Robert Wooster, Ph.D.

“This Day In North American Indian History” by Phil Konstantin

As with the First Nations Monday prayer and Scripture studies, I like to study with 5 translations. As you go through these studies, I encourage you to do the same. “The Scriptures” is a translation that includes the original Hebrew names and has the books in chronological order. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) is a translation that is written for ‘oral tradition’ peoples and it flows well while reading it aloud. The Amplified version is one where meanings of words and phrases are ‘amplified’ for better understanding. The King James Version (KJV) is the translation that works well with Strong’s Concordance. The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a great companion version that I find gives great insight.

In addition, consider the following:

First Nations Version Project
A retelling of the Sacred Scriptures for Native Americans and all English speaking Indigenous peoples.

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – New Testament

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – Old Testament

Cherokee Bible Project Titles in Book form:
(A joint mission of the Cherokee Bible Project and Four Rivers Native American Church)
Genesis in Cherokee
Haggai in Cherokee
Jonah in Cherokee
100 Days Of Indigenous Wisdom
Cherokee New Testament
New Cherokee Hymnal
Matthew’s Gospel in Cherokee
Mark’s Gospel in Cherokee
Luke’s Gospel in Cherokee
John’s Gospel in Cherokee
The Acts of the Apostles in Cherokee
ROMANS in Cherokee
JAMES to JUDE in Cherokee
John’s Revelation in Cherokee
Pastoral Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
General Epistles in Cherokee (coming)

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