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Long to reign over us

The Queen’s long service and faith should inspire us

01 May 2016

The singing of the National Anthem never fails to stir me. And when sung by thousands in a sports stadium, with great gusto – even if not great musical clarity – the effect can be spine-tingling! The words ‘long to reign over us’ echo round, as an acknowledgment of The Queen’s service to her country throughout the years, and as a prayer that this will be the case for many more to come. Such dedication and commitment is truly impressive – and The Queen’s motivation and ability in carrying out this role through so many years is quite remarkable. We may wonder what the secret of her ongoing energy is and wish for some of it for ourselves!

The Queen has often spoken about how her faith encourages and sustains her as she continues to live out the promises she made before God at her Coronation. In her Christmas message in 2014 she described it in these words: ‘For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace... is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.’


As for us, we may not have been given such an exalted role to fulfil, but we still have the same challenge of persevering through the years, through all that life throws at us, without running out of steam and giving up! The Bible talks about life in terms of a race, and how we can both manage to keep going and to finish well. Below are a few verses that you may want to use as prayer points as you reflect on your own life:

  • We each have our own race – our route mapped out by God. So rather than worrying about or wishing we had another’s life, we can ask God to help us appreciate our own.

‘All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.’

Psalm 139:16

  • Rather than dwell on or be held back by the hard or unfair times in life we can put our energy into what lies ahead.

‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus’

Philippians 3:13–14

  • We don’t struggle along the race on our own but have Jesus Christ with us as our constant encouragement and example.

‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’

Hebrews 12:2

  • While we may not be royalty, in the Bible we read that we’re promised a crown, our prize for eternity, as we reach the end of the race.

‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’

1 Corinthians 9:25


The prayer below was Mothers' Union's prayer for The Queen when she became the longest-reigning monarch in British history on 9 September 2015. 

Almighty God,
As members of Mothers’ Union we bring to you our gratitude
for the long life and reign of Elizabeth our Queen.
We thank you for her support of our work and vision
through her Patronage of Mothers’ Union.
We look to her example of selfless service
as we seek to live out our Christian faith
by the transformation of communities worldwide.