“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2-3).
When we fast, we will have a heightened sensitivity to God. This appears to be evident for the leaders at the church in Antioch. Why is this so significant? Up until this time in Acts, no one had been sent out with the express purpose of taking the gospel somewhere else. Some had been scattered by persecution, but no one had been sent on a mission trip.
The Holy Spirit directed these church leaders to do something new to spread the gospel, and He spoke to them during a time of worshiping and fasting.
–Adapted from The Path toward Passion (Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s) by Dean Trune.
Gracious God, so often I desire to know Your heart and direction for my life and yet I withhold my best efforts because I don’t want to be deprived of physical food. I know You will reward even the smallest steps towards learning this important discipline more fully. Equip me with a deeper desire to go without what is essential for life so that I may gain a richer, fuller life in the Spirit.
Praise our God, who is unfailing in love and great in compassion (Psalm 51:1-2). Give thanks for the forgiveness of all your past, present, and future sins through Jesus’ death 2,000 years ago! Confess that your sin has been against God himself (Psalm 51:3-5). Commit to the full integrity of having God’s truth and wisdom in the inner recesses of your heart (Psalm 51:6). Ask God for full cleansing, purity, joy, and gladness (Psalm 51:7-9).
Pray for a pure and steady heart for each of your household members and friends (Psalm 51:10). Ask God for a willing spirit to stay in the joy of his Spirit (Psalm 51:11-12).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend