Official prayers published in run up to Queen's 90th birthday

Prayers approved by the Queen herself have been published by the Church of England to celebrate the monarch's upcoming 90th birthday.

The Queen leaves church in Sandringham after attending the Christmas Day service.Reuters

Two prayers have been published – in traditional and modern forms – to be used in services marking the national celebrations of the Queen's milestone birthday in April and June. Two graces have also been published for use at the start of more local celebrations, such as street parties.

The modern version of one says:

"Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, receive our heartfelt thanks for all that you have given her in these 90 years and for all that she has given to her people.

"Continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her, and as you gather us together in celebration, unite us also in love and service to one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

One of the graces echoes the words Queen Elizabeth said in her first Christmas broadcast in 1952, after the death of her father George VI and ahead of her own coronation.

In her speech, she said: "Pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve him and you, all the days of my life."

The grace reflects this in its words: "Gracious God, give our Queen continued wisdom and strength to carry out the promises she has made; and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered there, that, sustained by service for others, we may faithfully serve you, all the days of our life."

The Queen's 90th birthday will be celebrated around her official birthday in June and her actual birthday on April 21.

On June 10 a thanksgiving service will be held at St Paul's Cathedral followed by the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony the next day at Horse Guards Parade.

"The Queen has steered Britain through some challenging and difficult times over the past seven decades, providing the country with stability and wisdom," said the Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell, who chairs the Liturgical Commission which prepares liturgy for the Church.

"She is an inspiration to many people, young and old. The Queen's 90th birthday gives an opportunity not only to thank God for her service, but to celebrate the gifts of all older people in our society."

The Queen has a strong Christian faith, and in recent years has worn it more openly, as characterised by her recent Christmas messages.

This year she quoted John's Gospel in a message of hope amid the challenges facing the world: "It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'"

Last year, she referred to the life of Jesus as "an inspiration and an anchor in my life." In 2011 she described Jesus as "neither a philosopher nor a general... but a Saviour, with the power to forgive."

Forgiveness, she said, "lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love."