Worship, Prayer and Fasting

Just a short observation for today.

In Acts 13:2 when the Holy Spirit said to set apart Paul and Barnabas for their ministry, it occured while the prophets and teachers were worshipping and fasting.

In Acts 14:23 when they appointed elders in every church and committed them to the Lord, it was with prayer and fasting.

In Acts 16:25 when Paul and Silas are in prison, they pray and worship.

It seems that a normal pattern for Christian living, seeking God's will, purpose and protection, and administering church life was worship (sung worship in Acts 16), prayer and fasting.

Is it possible that these weren't quite such distinct categories as we might make them today? Perhaps it was more worship/prayer/fasting that was what Christians did as they sought the Lord. Maybe the three things just went together as the basic pattern of Christian disciplines and practice (as well as sitting under the apostle's teaching, obviously).

I suspect this is one more example of Luke showing us normative church practice in Acts. But whether that is exegetically right or not, worship/prayer/fasting is nevertheless an excellent response to God speaking to us through the scriptures. Together they constitute an good biblical picture of seeking God and desiring God. It is easy to think that desiring God means going to a good Bible study. I think it better to say that having been to a good Bible study, a biblical test for whether our desire for God has been whetted is whether we want to pursue him with worship/prayer/fasting as a result.