Updated: Aug 15, 2022
During June 2022, many were celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, having reigned for 70 years. Her story is really quite remarkable.
When she was born in 1926 no-one expected Princess Elizabeth to become Queen. Her father George was not in line to be King in the future, as his older brother Edward was first in line. However, things changed when Edward fell in love with an American woman, who had already been married and divorced. Because of this she could never be Queen. Incredible to think that Edward gave up the throne so he could marry the woman he loved. The parallel is striking, as Jesus gave up His throne, to redeem for Himself the one He loved. However, let me stick with the story of England's throne for now!
When Edward abdicated, Elizabeth's father took the throne. King George VI led the country through the second world war, calling the nation to prayer not once, not twice, but seven times.
In a broadcast to the nation on May 24, George VΙ informed the people of the gravity of the situation and instructed the people to turn back to God in a spirit of repentance and plead for Divine help. He then announced that Sunday May 26, would be a National Day of Prayer. People responded in overwhelming numbers, churches were full to overflowing from one end of the country to the other, even Empire countries prayed.
Royalty and dignatories came to pray at Westminster Abbey in answer to the King's plea. See video footage of this here.
Another occasion was at nine o’clock on Tuesday 6 June, D-Day, 1944 when King George VI broadcast a message to the people of the British Empire in which he called for “earnest, continuous and widespread prayer”. Within his inspirational speech, he said, "... I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own short-comings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God; and we
dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose." (You can read the full speech here )
What a role model Princess Elizabeth had, seeing her father King George VI unashamedly lead the nation into prayer. By that stage he had already issued each military personnel with their own Bible, containing the following statement:
To all serving in my Forces by sea, or land, or in the air and indeed, to all my people engaged in the defence of the Realm, I commend the reading of this book. For centuries the Bible has been a wholesome and strengthening influence in our national life, and it behoves us in these momentous days to turn with renewed faith to this Divine source of comfort and inspiration.
15th September, 1939.
When after the war King George VI died of lung cancer in 1952, Princess Elizabeth had been blissfully enjoying married life with Prince Philip, and had no expectation to become Queen anytime soon. She was catapulted to the throne on 6th February 1952, you can only feel for her having just lost her beloved father.
Over the past seventy years of her reign, her faith in the Lord Jesus has evidently been central in her life, and she has frequently shared her faith during speeches that have been heard by hundreds of thousands, if not millions around the world.
We thank God for Queen Elizabeth II and for her faith in Jesus Christ!
In her honour, my brother Martin Bankart, wrote this beautiful song, which we produced together, entitled 'The Queen's Prayer'. I engaged the help of my family in Oundle to participate in the video that accompanies the song and we shared it with the Queen. Who knows, she might even leave a 'like' and a comment on YouTube for us :)
Be blessed greatly, as we pray for God to move again in our nation... and enjoy the video!