Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch who died Thursday at 96, highlighted her faith in Jesus as much of the West grew more secular.
In addition to her royal title, she was the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and attended church weekly and prayed daily, according to the Bible Society.
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In August, Her Majesty wrote, “Throughout my life, the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide and in them I find hope.”
“I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness,” she wrote in the forward to the book, “The Servant Queen and the King She Serves,” discussing her faith in Christ.
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The Queen often spoke about her Christian faith in the Christmas messages she delivered.
In her final Christmas message, she said, “Jesus, a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith. His birth marked a new beginning.”
WATCH HER CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM 2021:
She gave her first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957:
Evangelist Franklin Graham commemorated the Queen’s friendship with his father, Rev. Billy Graham, who was “America’s Pastor.”
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“[Billy Graham] cherished their friendship that was built on a shared love for Jesus Christ and belief in God’s Word,” Franklin wrote on Twitter.
I will always appreciate her example of leadership and her life of integrity. I’m especially grateful for the Queen’s friendship with my father @BillyGraham. He cherished their friendship that was built on a shared love for Jesus Christ and belief in God’s Word. pic.twitter.com/PEVI7QNduM— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) September 8, 2022
12 Quotes from Queen Elizabeth on faith in God
- On Queen Elizabeth’s 21st birthday she said the following in a radio address in 1947: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share it.”
- “For me, as a Christian, one of the most important of these teachings is contained in the parable of the Good Samaritan, when Jesus answers the question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ It is a timeless story of a victim of a mugging who was ignored by his own countrymen but helped by a foreigner – and a despised foreigner at that. The implication drawn by Jesus is clear. Everyone is our neighbour, no matter what race, creed or colour. The need to look after a fellow human being is far more important than any cultural or religious differences.” (Christmas message, 2004)
- “To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. 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.” (Christmas message, 2000)
- “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.” (Christmas message, 2002)
- “I hope that, like me, you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life … He makes it clear that genuine human happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than in being served.” (Christmas message, 2008)
- “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive… It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.” (Christmas message, 2011)
- “This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son ‘to serve, not to be served’. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer this Christmas Day that his example and teaching will continue to bring people together to give the best of themselves in the service of others. The carol, In The Bleak Midwinter, ends by asking a question of all of us who know the Christmas story, of how God gave himself to us in humble service: ‘What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a wise man, I would do my part’. The carol gives the answer: ‘Yet what I can I give him – give my heart’. (Christmas message, 2012)
- “For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that this love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach.” (Christmas message, 2013)
- “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people, of whatever faith or none.” (Christmas message, 2014)
- “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’… Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.” (Christmas message, 2015)
- “Billions of people now follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.” (Christmas message, 2016)
- “Christ not only revealed to us the truth in his teachings. He lived by what he believed and gave us the strength to try to do the same – and, finally, on the cross, he showed the supreme example of physical and moral courage.” (Christmas message, 1981)
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Caleb Parke is the SMG managing editor. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and connect with him at calebparke.com.