Sunday, March 30, 2014

James W. Goll and Leslie K. Tarr: History of the Watch of the Lord: Lessons From the Moravians

The Call to the Watch

May the Holy Spirit restore in our day the ancient tools of the "Watch of the Lord." May He awaken us to be vigilant and on the alert, in order to cut off the enemy's plans and usher in God's ambassadors. We welcome the Holy Spirit to speak to us about the part we are to play in being watchmen on the wall.


Dr. James W. Goll
Founder of Encounters Network • Prayer Storm • God Encounters Training e-School

A Prayer Meeting That Lasted 100 Years
by Leslie K. Tarr

FACT: The Moravian community of Herrnhut, Saxony, in 1727, commenced an around-the-clock "prayer watch" that continued non-stop for over a hundred years.

FACT: By 1792, 65 years after commencement of that prayer vigil, the small Moravian community had sent 300 missionaries to the ends of the earth!

Could it be that there is some relationship between those two facts? Is fervent intercession a basic component in world evangelization? The answer to both questions is surely an unqualified "yes."

The heroic eighteenth century evangelization thrust of the Moravians has not received the attention it deserves. But even less heralded than their missionary exploits is that one-hundred year prayer meeting that sustained the fires of evangelism!

During its first five years of existence, the Herrnhut settlement showed few signs of spiritual power. By the beginning of 1727, the community of about three hundred people was wracked by dissension and bickering, an unlikely site for revival!

Zinzendorf and others, however, covenanted to pray and labor for revival. On May 12, revival came. Christians were aglow with new life and power, dissension vanished and unbelievers were converted.

Looking back to that day and the four glorious months that followed, Count Zinzendorf later recalled: "The whole place represented truly a visible habitation of God among men." A spirit of prayer was immediately evident in the fellowship and continued throughout that "golden summer of 1727," as the Moravians came to designate that period. On August 27 of that year, twenty-four men and twenty-four women covenanted to spend one hour each day in scheduled prayer. Some others also enlisted in the "hourly intercession."

"For over 100 years, the members of the Moravian Church all shared in the 'hourly intercession.' At home and abroad, on land and sea, this prayer watch ascended unceasingly to the Lord," stated historian A. J. Lewis.

The Memorial Days of the Renewed Church of the Brethren, published in 1822, ninety-five years after the decision to initiate the prayer watch, quaintly describes the move in one sentence: "The thought struck some brethren and sisters that it might be well to set apart certain hours for the purpose of prayer, at which seasons all might be reminded of its excellency and be induced by the promises annexed to fervent, persevering prayer to pour out their hearts before the Lord."

The journal further cites Old Testament typology as warrant for the prayer watch: "The sacred fire was never permitted to go out on the altar (Leviticus 6:13); so in a congregation is a temple of the loving God, wherein He has His altar and fire, the intercession of His saints should incessantly rise up to Him."

That prayer watch was instituted by a community of Believers whose average age was probably thirty. Zinzendorf himself was twenty-seven.

The prayer vigil by Zinzendorf and the Moravian Community sensitized them to attempt the unheard-of-mission to reach others for Christ. Six months after the beginning of the prayer watch, the count suggested to his fellow Moravians the challenge of a bold evangelism aimed at the West Indies, Greenland, Turkey, and Lapland. Some were skeptical, but Zinzendorf persisted. Twenty-six Moravians stepped forward for world missions wherever the Lord led.

The exploits that followed are surely to be numbered among the high moments of Christian history. Nothing daunted Zinzendorf or his fellow heralds of Jesus Christ – prison, shipwreck, persecution, ridicule, plague, abject poverty, and threats of death. His hymn reflected his conviction:

Ambassador of Christ,
Know ye the way we go?
It leads into the jaws of death,
Is strewn with thorns and woe.

Church historians look to the eighteenth century and marvel at the Great Awakening in England and America, which swept hundreds of thousands into God's Kingdom. John Wesley figured largely in that mighty movement and much attention has centered on him. Is it not possible that we have overlooked the place, which that round-the-clock prayer watch had in reaching Wesley and, through him and his associates, in altering the course of history?

One wonders what would flow from a commitment on the part of twentieth century Christians to institute a "prayer watch" for world evangelization, specifically to reach those, in Zinzendorf's words, "For whom no one cared."

Blessings to you in Christ Jesus!

Dr. James W. Goll
Founder of Encounters Network • Prayer Storm • God Encounters Training e-School


Dr. James W. Goll is the president of Encounters Network, director of Prayer Storm, and coordinates Encounters Alliance, a coalition of leaders. He is director of God Encounters Training – an e-school of the heart, and is a member of the Harvest International Ministries apostolic team. He has shared Jesus in more than 50 nations worldwide, teaching and imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry, and life in the Spirit. James is the prolific author of numerous books and has also produced multiple study guides and hundreds of audio and video messages. James was married to Michal Ann for 32 years before her graduation to Heaven in the fall of 2008. James has four adult children who all love Jesus, and continues to make his home in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Note: Events are subject to change at the ministry's discretion. We suggest you always check first with the event contact listed here and/or directly visit their website for latest updates on each event.

March 22-23, 2014
Church Services
with James Goll, Lim Lip Yong
Cornerstone Community Church
11 East Coast Road, The Odeon Katong #03-01/02, Singapore 428722
Contact: +65 6344 4733

March 28-30, 2014
Aligning the Armies of Heaven and Earth
with James Goll, Chuck Pierce, Robert Heidler, Venner Alston, Pat Francis, Tim Sheets
Global Spheres Center
7801 S I-35 E, Corinth, TX 76210
Contact: 1-888-965-1099

April 4, 2014
A Call 2 Worship and Prayer
Woodmont Bible Church
3440 Stokesmont Rd, Nashville, TN 37215-1522
Contact: 615-386-1458

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