Gerhard Tersteegen was born in Moers, Prussia, in 1697. His father died when he was young, and after studying the classics, Tersteegen was apprenticed to a merchant, He worked as a merchant before taking up weaving, an occupation that allowed him more time for his devotional studies and hymn writing.
Self-taught in his religious studies and aligned with mystics rather than the Reform Church of Germany, Tersteegen worked as an itinerant preacher, regularly visiting Holland, and maintained a house known as Pilgrim’s Hut as a retreat for prayer in Mülhern. For much of his life, he lived in poverty, suffering from depression and hunger. The author of more than 100 hymns, Tersteegen published his work in Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein (1729). He died in 1796.