Approaching the Mercy Seat

In my opinion, Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians blessed the Protestant churches in at least three ways (not including the impact they had on John Wesley).  Shelley alluded to one of them when he said that “the Moravians became the first large-scale Protestant missionary force in history.”  Because Count Zinzendorf believed that “henceforth, we shall preach nothing but the love of the slaughtered Lamb” each evangelist was schooled in telling the Passion Story succinctly and simply (sounds an awful lot like what Sam Poe was reminding us to do – learn how to tell stories well).

Another distinction that belongs to them (but not Count Zinzendorf, this was before his time) was being the first to translate the Bible into a native tongue, the Kralitz Bible.  Like Jan Huss, their inadvertent founder, they believed the Bible should be accessible for ordinary people.

A third significant achievement of the Moravians not discussed by Shelley was the 100 year prayer meeting that the Moravians held starting in 1727.  24 women and 24 men each prayed for one hour every two days. What discipline and devotion they must have had to spent a solid hour in prayer every two days!  I admit that large chunks of solitary prayer are hard for me – even the 10 hour days of prayer and fasting with 600 New Frontiers pastors this past year were daunting.  But then I ponder the question: Who knows what benefits we are still reaping because of the Moravians’ prayers?  And that spurs me on to pray.  As does the reminder that their prayers led to a zeal for missions.  I want that.

As C.H. Spurgeon said “God thinks much more of your desires than of the words in which they are expressed.  It may be natural for a scholar to consider the accuracy of your terms, but God especially notes the sincerity of your soul.  There is no other place where the heart should be so free as before the mercy seat…Do not ask for what some tell you that you should ask for, but for that which you feel the need of, that which the Holy Spirit has made you to hunger and to thirst for, you ask for that.”

Holy Spirit, continue to make me hunger and thirst and I will approach the mercy seat with freedom.


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