In a message for Open Doors supporters, Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, shares reflections on Queen Elizabeth II's life of faithful witness - and invites you to join in prayer at this pivotal time.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September has shocked and saddened many, and I wanted to write to you as we mourn Her Majesty and give thanks for her life and legacy.
Queen Elizabeth II was a faithful servant to her Heavenly Father and spoke openly of the centrality of Christian faith in her life. I think her Christmas speeches must be among the most-watched talks each year – with an unashamed emphasis on the gospel! She was an extraordinary witness for Jesus. As recently as August, she said: “Throughout my life, the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide and in them I find hope. It is my heartfelt prayer that you will continue to be sustained by your faith in times of trial and encouraged by hope at times of despair.”
So often, at Open Doors, we pray for leaders around the world to have ‘integrity of heart and skilful hands’ like King David (Psalm 78:72). How blessed we have been to have a queen who consistently and dutifully exemplified those qualities for so many years. Just this week in an interview setting, a persecuted Christian noted to our team that we ‘should be grateful for the freedom we live in’. Many Christians in World Watch List countries would give anything to have their head of state affirm Christian faith.
It is in this spirit that I’d like to encourage you to keep praying for King Charles III. He has long been an advocate for and supporter of the persecuted church, and in 2018 he initiated a special service for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, to which I was invited.
As the UK experiences such seismic change – with a new Prime Minister and Sovereign – our prayers are more important than ever.
Please join me in praying over the coming days and weeks:
Father God, we thank You for the life of Your daughter Elizabeth. We are grateful for her dedicated service and for the hope she brought to so many. May the seeds of her testimony have a plentiful harvest, and may reflection upon her life lead others to Jesus. Bless and equip King Charles III so that, as Defender of the Faith, he may reign in line with heaven, doing everything in his power to strengthen the church in the UK and around the world. Amen.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
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