Seeking God’s will or direction is different from petitioning Him for something we desire. When the Israelites were in conflict with the tribe of Benjamin, they sought God’s will through fasting. The entire army fasted until evening, and “the men of Israel asked the Lord, ‘Shall we go out again and fight against our brother Benjamin, or shall we stop?”’ (Judges 20:26-28).
Acts 13:1-3 implies that church leaders were seeking God’s direction for their ministry through prayer and fasting. The Holy Spirit responded by saying, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” In both instances, people fasted and prayed to determine God’s will.