Our Lord has called to himself, our Queen Elizabeth.
Let us thank God for her many years of faithful Christian leadership both in the Commonwealth and throughout the world.
Many of us, on both sides of the Tasman, learned to express a prayerful yearning for Her Majesty in the National Anthem sung at schools across New Zealand and Australia. As we sang, ‘God save our gracious Queen!’, we spoke the words, ‘send her victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us, God save the Queen’.
The Lord answered that praying, providing for Elizabeth throughout her long reign, which began in 1952.
As we hear the many tributes to Her Majesty, we also remember her walk by faith. She was baptised into Christ in the chapel at Buckingham Palace in 1926, confirmed and married in the Church of England. Throughout their lives ever in the public eye, Queen Elizabeth and her beloved husband Prince Philip served as a faithful Christian couple.
In her first Christmas broadcast after her father King George VI had died, in 1952, Elizabeth spoke of her own prayerful yearning, ‘Pray for me … that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life’.
The Lord answered Elizabeth’s praying, through cloud and sunshine.
As we enter into Sunday worship this weekend, I encourage you to commend Her Majesty’s family to the Lord in prayer, with thanksgiving for her long faith-filled reign over us. In our Lutheran Hymnal, in the Service without Communion, we commonly prayed for her majesty and for good government:
Bless all those in government and positions of authority. Direct our Queen and her advisers and guide the parliaments of our commonwealth and state. Help them to govern wisely and justly, so that people may be restrained from wrongdoing and encouraged to live good lives.
In your Sunday praying, please include prayers for King Charles III as he begins his reign in the midst of grieving for his own mother.
Our Lord Jesus promised, ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No-one will snatch them out of my hand‘ (John 10:27-28 NRSV).
- Statement from the head of the Church of England and Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s address to the nation
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s address to the nation
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