According to Paul, we have direct access through the Holy Spirit. Is this not what he is to do for us?
ESV - 2 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.
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I would say that the fasting being referred to in the verse cited in the question was not viewed as a required part of the regular religious practices of the Christians involved, or as part of the type of ritualistic or legalistic observance referred to by the Pharisee in Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:10-14)), but was resorted to on occasions as a means of reducing distractions to their thoughts and attention when the discernment of God's will was being sought on a particularly important spiritual matter. (A similar reference is found in Acts 14:23 as part of the special process of appointing elders for each of the various congregations being discussed.) (I also view this as similar to Jesus' own reference in Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 to the type of demon that could only be exorcised in conjunction with prayer and fasting.) Although (as indicated in the question) we do indeed have direct access to God through the salvation that is ours by grace through faith, fasting can still (in my opinion) be a valid means of attaining greater spiritual and physical discipline, as long as it is not viewed as a means of somehow "guaranteeing" God's favor or the granting of requests that we make of Him.
Here is what you must do in grace through faith as taught by the Apostles. What must I do to be saved? Hear- Romans 10:17, Matthew 11:15, Acts 18:8, Acts 28:28 Believe- John 5:24, Mark 16:16, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 18:8. Confess- 1 John 4:15, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:35-38. Repent- Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Matthew 9:13. Baptized- John 3:5, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:5-13, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 9:17-19, Acts 10:47-48, Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-5, Acts 22:16, Matthew 28:19. Then God adds you into the Church- Acts 2:41, Acts 2:47, Colossians 2:12, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-11. Study the Scriptures daily- 2 Timothy 2:15. Endure to the end- Matthew 24:13.
Christian fasting is very different from any other kind of religious fasting and has NOTHING to do with impressing GOD with our self-discipline or getting Him to notice us 'talking' to Him. "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, going into detail about visions he has seen, being puffed up for nothing by his fleshly mind...If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees: "’Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch’?...which are matters having, to be sure, a word of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence." (Colossians 2:18,20-21,23). The Holy Spirit is explaining here that these forms of self-abasement and ill treatment of the body are remnants from Old Testament era disciplines that amount to 'angel worship' now when we linger upon them looking for 'new wisdom,' since Christ has taken us beyond them and His angels will always point us back to Him now instead. That said, there is a form of 'New Testament' fasting connected to a particular form of prayer called a 'euche.' You will find this word translated 'prayer of faith' in James 5:15 in reference to healing the sick and elsewhere translated 'vow' and used to describe men under the 'Nazirite vow,' (Acts 18:18, 21:23, described in detail in Numbers 6:1-21), not to touch the dead or drink wine or cut their hair until 'released' by GOD from this sacred 'separation' from the people. So there remains a 'holy separation' for us as Christians when GOD requires it of us, but it has to do with building up enough faith to make a specific request of GOD. The two most profound 'euche' requests are illustrated for us by Moses in the Old Testament and the Lord Jesus in the New Testament, both men 'separated out' for forty days and nights while receiving the details of the two Great Holy Covenants. Moses received the Torah and Christ the details of our New Covenant of grace by faith in Him and the requirements of His work upon the cross and subsequent 'confirmation' by His resurrection. Both men 'fasted' throughout, but it should be noted that neither was 'hungry' at all until afterwards, so this is not a physical or mental discipline. GOD provided them with what they needed apart from physical food, which Jesus references more than once, (Matthew 4:4, John 4:32). Likewise for us, 'fasting' isn't about starving ourselves or even being hungry at all. In fact, once we are actually hungry, the 'euche' is officially over. None of us is likely to be receiving any Holy Covenants from GOD, so we are unlikely to be going 40 days without food, but that is what we would need to experience first in order to build up enough faith to receive such a powerful divine encounter. How long would you need to experience 'direct divine provision' before you had equivalent faith to heal the sick? In other words, if GOD provided something 'natural' for you by other means, how long would He need to keep doing this before you believed that it was a divine experience meant to provide you with enough comparable faith to heal the sick? This kind of question is now the purpose of Christian 'fasting.' And it can be food, sleep, or anything else that you 'naturally' need and normally cannot go without for very long without experiencing some obvious detriment. Yet, no detriment would result if this is 'inspired' with a parallel divine purpose. This can be about seeking wisdom, asking for a 'miracle' or even something relatively small but important. Whatever amount of faith is required to receive it, GOD supplies the faith first using a 'euche' experience. Then any new prayer stands in this new measure of faith. GOD reveals what this 'exact portion of faith' is through the answer that arrives and you begin to use it for His glory and the honor of His kingdom.
Romans 14:3 KJV: "Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him." Paul mentions doing several things that would appear to be contradictory concerning law and grace, but he explains that it's all in an effort to gain more believers. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 KJV: "19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you." Paul tells us to pray always in Ephesians 6:18. Eating would then become too scarce an event for survival!
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