Monday, August 12, 2013

The Prayer Meeting that Touched the World

Moravians Prayed Around the Clock for 100 Years

The village of Herrnhut in Saxony.

A Milestone Monday Feature

The Moravian Brethren Church was born in the 1720's when Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf gave refuge to persecuted Hussites from Moravia and Bohemia. The village of Herrnhut, Saxony, now a part of Germany, was built by them.

Count Zinzendorf started a round-the-clock prayer meeting in 1727. It lasted one hundred years. People in Herrnhut signed up to pray for an hour a day.

What G-d did as a result of that prayer meeting is amazing. In an era when travel was difficult and dangerous the Moravians became a major force in reaching the world with the Gospel. Their ministry took them to many parts of the world. Moravians settled in the new world in Pennsylvania. The cities of Bethlehem and Nazareth are Moravian settlements. Count Zinzendorf secured a large tract of land in North Carolina where the Moravians established Bethabara. From here they began outreach to the Native Americans around them.

In 1753, Moravians from North Carolina travelled into the Cherokee Nation, which extended into North Georgia and Alabama from Western North Carolina. The nonacquisitive Moravians eventually developed a long standing ministry among the Cherokee. Since unmarried Moravian men and women lived in communal houses, one house for men and another for women, they may have been philosphically closer to a long house people than other Europeans. The New Georgia Encyclopedia states of them:

"Generally, the accomplishments of the Moravians lay in the fact that their missions not only opened their doors to all visitors, including African slaves from nearby Cherokee plantations, but also functioned as model farms for European agricultural techniques. Particularly, the Spring Place Mission served as an exemplar for other missionary enterprises to emulate."

The Moravians certainly were lovers of innovation in agriculture and craftsmanship. Visit the restored Moravian settlement in Salem, North Carolina today and you will see some of the first water pipes in America -- hollowed logs with metal couplings -- that carry water inside the Single Brothers' House.

No comments: