Saxony 1727
The Moravians officially established their community in 1457. Yet for 250 years, they had suffered intense persecution for their beliefs until 1722 when Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a man of deep faith, invited them to refuge on his estate. These asylum seekers came from Czechoslovakia and Bohemia to a village called Herrnhut in Saxony. Other asylum seekers joined them – French Calvinists and Anabaptists from Germany. In time, the blending of nationalities and ideas brought about conflict. Zinzendorf, the de facto leader of this group, was disturbed by the tension and had been praying with key community leaders about it.

On August 5, 1727, Count Zinzendorf and fourteen of the Brethren spent the entire night in conversation and prayer. On August 10th, Pastor Rothe another leader was so overcome by God’s nearness during an afternoon service at Herrnhut that he threw himself on the ground during prayer and called to God with words of repentance as he had never done before. The congregation was moved to tears and continued until midnight, praising God and singing.

On August 13, 1727 the whole community assembled for a communion service, and in that service, the entire body felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, leading them to beg forgiveness of one another and weep and seek reconciliation. Something happened to the Moravians during that service — they were transformed from being a disparate bunch of refugees into an excited band of disciples, ready for any task. Count Zinzendorf looked upon that day as “a day of the outpourings of the Holy Spirit upon the congregation; it was its Pentecost.”

Within two weeks, twenty-four men and twenty-four women of the community covenanted together to spend one hour each day, day and night, in prayer to God for His blessing on the congregation and its witness. For over 100 years, members of the Moravian church continued non-stop in this “Hourly Intercession.” Like the first Pentecost, men and women would move forth with the gospel from Herrnhut to the uttermost parts of the earth. All Moravian adventures were begun, surrounded, and consummated in prayer. They became known as “God’s Happy People,” establishing missions and churches around the world and having a key role in the life of John Wesley among others. Their watchword was, “That the lamb that was slain will receive the reward for his suffering”.