This weekend one of London’s most famous residents celebrates 60 years as our Head of State. Elizabeth II only has three more years to go before she becomes our longest ever serving monarch, eclipsing Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years.

As part of the celebrations there will be a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tues 05 June. A prayer for the service, and for the Queen during this time, has been written by the Cathedral:

“God of time and eternity, whose Son reigns as servant, not master; we give you thanks and praise that you have blessed this Nation, the Realms and Territories with Elizabeth our beloved and glorious Queen. In this year of Jubilee, grant her your gifts of love and joy and peace as she continues in faithful obedience to you, her Lord and God, and in devoted service to her lands and peoples, and those of the Commonwealth, now and all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Paul urges us to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-2), so I think we have a clear responsibility to pray for the royal family, and our current crop of political leaders, regardless of our particular political point of view. Paul says we need to intercede for them, and give thanks for them, in order that we all as subjects can live peaceful, godly and holy lives.

One of the things I love about the UK is that our national anthem is actually a prayer. Every time we sing it, before a football match, at an Olympic medal ceremony, at the end of a concert, or even at the close of a TV or radio broadcast, we are really praying for our head of state. We are inviting God to bring salvation and long life to them. How many other nations can boast of an anthem like that?!

“God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save our Queen. Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save our Queen.”

No wonder she is still in good health after 60 years of people regularly praying for her! Let’s pray this, and the special Jubilee prayer written, over Her Majesty. We not only do it for her sake, but for the sake of the whole nation…

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

Mark Williamson is a founding director of One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s also passionate about praying for London, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.