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.”Acts 13:2 NIV
Antioch was the home of the first known predominately Gentile church. While it is not explicitly stated here, it would appear that the church leadership was seeking direction from God as they worshiped and fasted. I suspect that this could very well be connected with God’s earlier calling of Paul (Acts 9:15) to proclaim Christ to the Gentiles. God responded to them in some fashion. And he made it clear that Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were to be sent off to proclaim the gospel. So they fasted, prayed, laid hands on them, and sent them off. And thus the first intentional missionaries are sent out.
I do not expect that there are many Apostle Pauls waiting to be sent out from among us today. But this church at Antioch does set a good example of how to seek God’s direction. They worshipped, bowing down before their sovereign Lord. They fasted, denying themselves and any outside distractions. And they prayed, seeking God’s direction. I suspect that it was not just for a few minutes on Sunday. I wonder what would happen if the church today was to do that? Or for us as individual believers?