Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Roger Wood
In 1947 while on tour in southern Africa with her parents and on her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth made the rather prophetic pledge via broadcast to the people of the British Commonwealth.
“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 in 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 in it”.
Queen Elizabeth the second, reigned for 70 years and 214 days, the longest of any British monarch and was a much admired and respected figure across the globe. Throughout her reign the Queen worked closely and met weekly with 15 British Prime Ministers beginning with Winston Churchill. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states over the course of her lifetime. Queen Elizabeth carried out more than 21,000 engagements and within the Commonwealth she made over 150 trips (with Canada leading the way with 26 visits) and traveled to more than 100 countries.
Billy Graham was one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. It is quite remarkable to think that he preached the Gospel live to over 220 million people in 185 countries over the course of a six-decade ministry. From observing Billy Graham’s life and ministry, it seems clear that God set His hand on the life of a young man from North Carolina, opened his heart to the Gospel and saved him to become an evangelist.
In Marshall Frady’s biography, “Billy Graham, a Parable of American Righteousness”, he records one of Billy’s friends saying of him; “Billy just has this longing, this enormous longing in his heart to bring lost souls into the joy of redemption and reunion with the Lord”.
Billy Graham initially drew the attention of the young Queen when he held his first international crusade in London in 1954. Much to the chagrin of some clerics it was reported that thousands came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ during those weeks in London. When he returned to the UK in March of 1955 to hold crusades in Glasgow, Scotland and then on to London, Queen Elizabeth invited him to preach at the chapel at Windsor Castle.
Over the years the friendship between the Queen and Rev. Graham grew and he was thankful for the opportunity to preach the Gospel multiple times to the royal family.
Did Queen Elizabeth have a saving faith? Billy Graham was certain she had. From the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Archives Rev. Graham is quoted, “Her steadfast loyalty to her work, the sense of great tradition that she has, the quiet resolve facing the many trials and struggles in her own life, but based on all of it was a deep seeded relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Billy Graham died on February 21, 2018, at the age of 99.
Queen Elizabeth died on September 19, 2022, at the age of 96.