A Brief But Brilliant Background on Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Listen to this insightful interview with Dr Jason Hubbard about the history of Zinzendorf and the Moravians, whose 300th anniversary will be celebrated later this month.
Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) is a little-known figure from church history who deserves far more attention than he generally receives — and not just for his striking name.
Fortunately, international prayer leader Jason Hubbard has this year set himself to rekindle the church’s interest in Zinzendorf, and the spiritual community Zinzendorf led in south-east Germany.
Jason recently spoke to the Canberra Declaration’s Warwick Marsh to recount the exciting history of Zinzendorf and the Moravians. The conversation took place in advance of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Moravians’ village Herrnhut.
Persecution and a Passion for Jesus
The interview is part of the Great Southland Revival podcast series, hosted by Warwick Marsh and myself, in preparation for a book we will be releasing later this year under the same title. Great Southland Revival will trace the great revival movements through history, from the book of Acts right up to modern-day Australia.
As Jason explains, in 1722, a band of Moravians escaping persecution in what is now the Czech Republic were given refuge by Zinzendorf, a wealthy aristocrat with a passionate love for Jesus. Zinzendorf kindly gave them permission to settle on his estate.
On June 17th, a man called Christian David cut down the first tree to make room for the new settlement and dedicated the community to the Lord. He took as his text Psalm 84 and declared that Herrnhut — literally “the Lord’s Watch” — would be a dwelling place for the Lord and His presence.
Several months later at a communion service, the Moravians experienced a powerful visitation of God as Zinzendorf preached on the cross of Christ, the blood of Jesus and the glory of the Lamb. The Spirit of God was poured out in an experience the Moravians described as a “baptism of love”. God’s love was shed abroad in their hearts and it was evidenced by a profound mutual love they had for another in the days, weeks and months that followed.
The 100 Year Prayer Meeting That Changed the World
Soon, the Moravians began interceding day and night, scheduling men, women and even young children to pray in hour-long shifts around the clock. They had established a “canopy” of united, strategic and sustainable prayer. And though they did not know it at the time, the prayer meeting they began would continue unbroken for over 100 years.
The impact of this prayer meeting was profound, Jason explains. It led to the sending out of well over 200 missionaries to the ends of the earth, who helped to establish some 5,000 missionary settlements around the world.
According to Jason, what compelled Zinzendorf and the Moravians to pray and go on gospel missions was the absolute worth of Jesus. Their mandate was to win for the Lamb who was slain the reward for His sufferings. Their motto was “Our Lamb has conquered. Let us follow Him.”
Find out more about Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians by watching Warwick’s interview with Jason Hubbard (above).
Also stay tuned for an exciting announcement about another brand new book on Zinzendorf and the Moravians, authored by Jason and soon to be released by the Canberra Declaration.
For more articles by Kurt Mahlburg or to buy his book, Cross + Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? you can go to his website.
This article was originally published in The Daily Declaration.