Queen Elizabeth Relied on Her Christian Faith: Asked for Prayer That She 'May Faithfully Serve' God and the People Before Her Coronation in 1953
In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing Thursday, Christian leaders have shared fond memories, prayers and stories about the late monarch and her faith.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called Elizabeth a “faithful Christian disciple” and said she “lived out her faith every day of her life,” according to The Christian Post.
Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the monarch’s death.
“I will always appreciate her example of leadership and her life of integrity,” said Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and CEO of his father’s evangelical ministry.
“I’m especially grateful for the Queen’s friendship with my father Billy Graham. He cherished their friendship that was built on a shared love for Jesus Christ and belief in God’s Word.
“My father had the privilege of meeting with the Queen more than a dozen times, and she was a gracious host, inviting my parents to visit Buckingham Palace on several occasions,” Graham said.
“My father said he found Queen Elizabeth ‘to be a woman of rare modesty and character,’ and made a pledge to pray for her and her family every day.
“He also appreciated how she often talked about Jesus Christ during her public addresses — there was never any question about where she placed her faith. Queen Elizabeth once said, ‘I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.’
“The Queen was a friend to my father, but more importantly, she was a true friend of the Christian faith,” Graham concluded. “She will be profoundly missed.”
Christianity Today’s Dudley Delffs noted that Elizabeth “inherited religious responsibilities as the Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, titles vested in the reigning British monarch since Henry VIII renounced the Papacy in 1534.”
“Her duties included appointing archbishops, bishops, and deans of the Church of England as advised by the prime minister,” Delffs reported.
She also swore to maintain the Church of Scotland, and to “preserve the settlement of the true Protestant religion as established by the laws made in Scotland,” but lacked an official title in that regard, since “The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian and recognizes only Jesus Christ as ‘King and Head of the Church,'” he said.
In her first Christmas address in 1952, Elizabeth asked for prayer for her coronation the following June.
“I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me on that day — to pray 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,” she said.
In another Christmas address in 2000, Elizabeth made clear that she took her faith seriously and encouraged her subjects to do the same.
“For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example,” she said.
“I believe that the Christian message, in the words of a familiar blessing, remains profoundly important to us all:
Go forth into the world in peace,
be of good courage,
hold fast that which is good,
render to no man evil for evil,
strengthen the faint-hearted,
support the weak,
help the afflicted,
honour all men.
“It is a simple message of compassion … and yet as powerful as ever today, two thousand years after Christ’s birth,” she concluded.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.