Can God use you as the catalyst for a revival? Why not? In the 1700s, God used a man with a heart of prayer and passion for Jesus to spark a revival that still electrifies believers. “Mold my heart to be like Your heart” is one of the prayer points of Pray2020.

A 27-year-old nobleman from Saxony (in present-day Germany), Nicholaus von Zinzendorf was the key figure in a spiritual revival in 1727. Early in life he chose as his motto: “I have but one passion – it is Jesus, Jesus only.” At age 16 he had formed seven praying societies at college.

Count Zinzendorf’s love for Jesus led him to invest his wealth and property in housing a group of Moravians, refugees from religious persecution in nearby Bohemia. They founded the village of Herrnhut, meaning “The Lord’s Watch.”

Much prayer, a signed covenant of unity, and total surrender to God preceded revival among the Moravians. When revival fell:

  • 24/7 prayer began among the Moravians that continued for over 100 years. Children wept for the lost in a prayer chain of their own.
  • In the next two decades, one of every ten Moravians went out as missionaries. Some were willing to be sold into slavery in order to reach African slaves with the gospel.
  • In the first 150 years, more than 2,000 missionaries went out from Herrnhut, “the little town that blessed the world.”*
  • Among those influenced by Moravian missionaries was John Wesley, “Father of Methodism.” After various encounters with the Moravians, he went to one of their meetings where Luther’s Preface to Romans was read. His heart was “strangely warmed,” and he trusted in Christ alone for salvation.
  • Among those influenced by Moravian missionaries was John Wesley, “Father of Methodism.” After various encounters with the Moravians, he went to one of their meetings where Luther’s Preface to Romans was read. His heart was “strangely warmed,” and he trusted in Christ alone for salvation.
  • William Carey, considered the “Father of Modern Missions,” was inspired by the Moravians’ example when he founded and became the first missionary sent out by the Baptist Missionary Society, sailing to India in 1792.

A modern-day prayer model founded on the Moravian example was begun by Dr. Jason Hubbard, of Light of the World Prayer Center in Washington State, USA. Dr. Hubbard challenged the pastors of his county to unite in 24/7 prayer. Now, 80% of the pastors in the county meet monthly for prayer, and their churches cover one day per month in prayer.

In one of the most unchurched counties in the U.S., in a decade they have seen 80 new churches planted, thousands come to faith in Christ, crime reduced, abortion numbers drop and adoption numbers rise. This “prayer canopy” model has spread to cities around the world.

It can happen again. May we pray, may we put Jesus first, may we seek to win the lost as Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians did. May God use you — use me — to spark revival in our day.

~ Judith Neibling, Cru Communications

*The Little Town That Blessed the World, 2007, by Jeff Fountain, YWAM publishing.