What God Can Do

#ThrowbackThursday
#ChurchHistory

Herrnhut Today (Photo by StefFleiPhotography)

293 years ago today, on August 13, 1727, Moravian Christians in Herrnhut (in modern-day Germany) experienced the power of God, through the Holy Spirit, in a new way during their church service. Before this day, this small church of refugees was divided and argued about much. This encounter with God, however, unified them and launched a non-stop prayer meeting that lasted more than 100 years. You read that right: praying for 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for over 100 years. About 5 years later, this church began to send out missionaries around the world to spread the story of Jesus.

A modern English translation of the Herrnhut diary reads, “Then the congregation fell down before the Lord, and started to cry and sing at the same time: ‘My Soul Before Thee Prostrate Lies.’ One could hardly tell whether we were singing or crying, but it happened with such grace that the officiating minister was also totally perplexed by it. After the hymn was finished some of the Brethren prayed with divine power, laying before the Lord the plight of the congregation and especially that they were at a loss at what to do with those who had left us…We also prayed childlike and modestly, that he should teach us the true nature of His church and how to live and walk in His law…We prayed that He would fully bestow on us the holy order of His grace…We spent this day and the following in calm and joyful composure and learned to love…”
 
It is also recorded that a couple of men, who had been away, returned to Herrnhut and immediately asked what happened on the morning of August 13. They reported that they had been in an orphanage about 20 miles away when they suddenly felt a strong urge to pray at 10 AM. As they prayed, they were overcome with compassion for their church family.
 
Our church theme this year is SENT, however we have spent the last 5 months sheltering in place in our homes. How can God send us and use us for His glory when we are quarantining in our homes? The God who unified the church in Herrnhut, transformed them through prayer, and sent them out around the world is still doing the miraculous for His glory today. We have been praying together, as a church family, at 8:08 AM and 8:08 PM each day. Let us continue to pray and seek after God’s heart together.

P.C.G. Reuter, “That Quarter of the World,” closeup of map showing Herrnhut (“HHuth”) near Berlin

Source: Herrnhut diary, quoted in Hans-Christoph Hahn and Hellmut Reichel, eds., Zinzendorf und die Herrnhuter Brüder: Quellen zur Geschichte der Brüder-Unität von 1722 bis 1760 (Hamburg 1977), 106-108.


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