The First Great Global Awakening Of the 1700s
On the Blood of the Martyrs
Germany was once again a place of great spiritual darkness but, our great and merciful Father on high heard the hearts’ cry of a few men who met together to seek His wonderful face for an outpouring of His Spirit. They came, and stayed, and they prayed. He responded! Like a flash of lightening ripping across the dark night, His Spirit ripped through the darkness and landed upon a small group of Moravians in Herrnhut, Saxony (Germany), the estate of Count Zinzendorf’s one summer’s night in 1727.
So great was this awakening that the prayer meeting that had begun just a few nights before lasted for over one hundred years and spread to many nations upon the earth before it was over. How the Father yearns to satisfy our longings when our passions are rightly placed.
This revival was poured out on the foundation of the blood of the martyrs, Messiah being the Chief Cornerstone. These Moravians had landed on Count Zinzendorf’s estate by invitation. Out of a deep compassion spurned by the knowledge of their tremendous sufferings for the sake of the Gospel, the Count encouraged this valiant group of people to form a community on his land. Many had virtually given their lives for the Gospel, others who remained had endured many and great persecutions as they traveled from place to place looking for a refuge from their storm. Now at last they found their haven of safety at Saxony. Unfortunately, all the persecutions did not refine the saints in godliness. However, the Count knew that the problems were nothing prayer could not remedy. So he invited them to nightly prayer meetings. Not many of these meetings had occurred before the holy passion for a divine visitation began to flood their souls and the travail for more of God began. Only a few months later He came, suddenly thundering down upon the waiting souls.
One Moravian wrote: "We saw the hand of God and His wonders, and we were all
under the cloud of our fathers, baptized with the Spirit… The Holy
Ghost came upon us, and great signs and wonders took place.
From that time scarcely a day passed but what we beheld His
almighty working amongst us."
Each member of the prayer team headed by Count Zinzendorf’s, agreed to pray one hour forming a sort of relay prayer team. The spirit of supplication energized even the children as hours of deep and penetrating intercession broke through the heavens entering into the throne of grace. One man described the scene as, "Mopped brows glowed from hours of deep intercession." They prayed for the baptism of love in a most fervent manner. Their prayer was answered on August 10th. People were unexpectedly struck to the ground by divine power, others sang, still others wept until after midnight, and love filled their longing souls. This gave the seekers great courage and faith to intensify their seeking until 3 nights later, holy fire was sent to consume the waiting bush. Pentecost in its richest form was flowing among the saints once again. The hunger for the Scriptures that ensued the initial visitation of the Moravian Pentecost was overwhelming. They gathered daily at 5 AM, 7:30 AM and 9 AM for the reading of the Word of God. It was at this time that the brethren covenanted together to maintain the 24-hour prayer watched that continued for over a century.
The holy fire was never allowed to go out as incessant pleadings went up before the Giver of Grace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These relentless saints prayed for the Church around the world with such fervency as would beggar description. Within 25 years 100 missionaries were sent out all over the world. As a their faithful intercession continued a galaxy of holy men and women were launched out to light the world with the Gospel.
The Moravian revival swept through the world effecting people in all classes of society, from the poorest to the richest and the highest of the ranks of society. Nations such as America, England, India, Scotland, Africa, Western Europe and many other lands were ultimately set ablaze from the fire bands of this revival. Great men of God such Jonathon Edwards, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Lady Huntington, John Erskine, David Brainerd and Peter Bohler were among those raised as bright stars of glory from this revival.
It was upon the blood of the martyrs that this revival was born with Messiah being the Chief Cornerstone. Prayer birthed it, prayer kept it going. In every nation the Moravians landed missions, fervent prayer began to rise increasing the tide of supplication being lifted up before the throne fueling the international revival so lovingly being poured out by the Father. The tide did begin to ebb back out to sea within about fifty years due to distractions and conflicts of the world that the Church allowed to enter in to the once pure fires of heaven. But the prayer that bathed the world continued for over 100 years in Herrnhut, Germany, where it all began.