21 Days of Prayer and Fasting – Acts 13:1-3

21 days_prayer_fasting
January 14, 2022

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting – Acts 13:1-3

21 days_prayer_fasting

21 days of prayer and fasting to start off 2022 with God!

Read Acts 13:1-3

The following four points can be derived from this passage:


Fasting must be accompanied by other practices in order to be effective.

Scripture states in Acts 13:2,

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting…

Notice that this verse does not say, “While they were fasting.” Rather, it says “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting.” The fast was associated with worship. Worshiping in this passage refers to the act of ministering onto the Lord. In some versions, the phrase is stated as, “While they were ministering onto the Lord”, which may also suggest that they were serving the Lord. The word may also refer to serving the Body of Christ, praising the Lord in song, or praying to the Lord. When we use our God-given talents to serve the Body of Christ, we are serving Christ Himself.

Read Acts 14:23, Ezra 8:23 and Luke 2:37

Throughout the Bible, we are shown that people often fasted in conjunction with prayer. When we fast without praying or spending time with the Lord, we are merely on a diet.

In order for fasting to have a significant effect, it must be accompanied by worship, Bible reading, and prayer. A fast is the cessation of physical consumption of food, however fasting involves more than a dietary restriction: It is actually a heart-related practice. It speaks volumes when the heart of man turns to God and says, “I’m hungry for You.” “I’m hungry for Your Word.” “I desire spiritual food more than physical food.” Jesus said in Matthew 4:4,

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

If we do not worship the Lord and praise Him during our fast, we are simply starving ourselves.


Acts 13:2 reads,

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said...

Fasting prepares our hearts to hear from God. The practice and discipline of fasting are usually found among those who are thirsty and hungry to hear from God. Fasting brings about clarity, as it removes many distractions. As a result, we are better able to discern what comes from within us, what comes from the world, and what comes from God. In other words, the frequency of our hearts is calibrated to be in tune with God’s voice. Today, we hear the voices of experts, members of the media, representatives of our culture, and the global community. This fast is, however, a cry to the Lord declaring that we wish to hear from Him.


Acts 13:2 quotes the Holy Spirit as saying,

Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul…

Do you see the passion here? God set aside these men for Himself. They are His. The Lord desired Saul and Barnabas to be set apart. He did not want them to mix with the world. God intended for them to be set apart to fulfill His purposes.

A fast assists us in consecrating ourselves to the Lord, in surrendering ourselves wholly to Him.

Read Romans 12:1

Walking in righteousness is an act of worship on our part. Such behaviour is indicative of our devotion to God.

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

We are called to be distinct from the world in which we live. We are to be pure and consecrated to the Lord, so that we may impact the world, not the other way around.

Read John 17:14-18

Fasting helps us to separate ourselves from the world and respond to God’s call to spiritual consecration. Through fasting and prayer, we walk in the light, not in darkness, in righteousness and not in lawlessness.


According to Acts 13:2, the Holy Spirit says,

Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

Fasting humbles us and shapes our character so that we are prepared for what we have been called to do. The toxic elements are eliminated, and the Holy Spirit pours in.

John Piper once said,

Before this, (Saul or) Paul had made no missionary journeys westward to Asia Minor, Greece, or Rome, or Spain. Before this Paul had not written any of his letters which were all the result of his missionary travels beginning here. This moment of prayer and fasting resulted in a missions movement that would make Christianity the dominant religion of the Roman Empire within two and a half centuries and would yield 1.3 billion adherents of the Christian religion today with a Christian witness in virtually every country of the world. And 13 out of the 29 books of the New Testament were the result of the ministry that was launched in this moment of prayer and fasting.

Paul’s fasting had a profound impact. Pastor Eric strongly urges us to never underestimate the power of prayer and fasting, because we see in the above passage that they are powerful preparation tools for what God wants to do through us. As a result of our fasting, certain things are neutralized or snuffed out, because we are adversely affecting the kingdom of darkness. There is no doubt that fasting is an extremely powerful tool, not only for church leaders but for every Christian.

In Isaiah 58, God reproached His people for making fasting into something that it was not. The majority of them would only fast physically, refusing to undergo any transformation in their lives. Their lives remained unchanged. Consequently, they continued to engage in the same sinful behaviours. That was not the fast that God had instructed them to observe. The fast that consists of simply skipping meals without any sort of transformation is insufficient. In order for our fasting to be accepted by the Lord, He must come and minister to us. He must transform our thinking, our behaviour, and our character.

In Matthew 6:16, Jesus cautions us not to fast simply to be noticed by others; otherwise, our reward will simply be their attention. Would you prefer to be congratulated by men or by God?

Watch video here: