There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the Kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
In Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch Paul and Silas are intent on strengthening the souls of the disciples of our Lord in these three towns. Strengthening comes from the Holy Spirit and Paul and Silas are teaching these folks firsthand ways to pray, preach, and perseverance during persecution. They encourage the disciples in the Churches with their faith witness’, teach them parables and words of faith from Jesus, and pray for each of them with encouragement.
Disciples give encouragement to others. Pray with encouragement to uplift and remind another person of our Lord’s care. Speak encouragement as a “way to go!” and “our Lord loves you for doing that good thing” and “our Lord hears your prayer” or “our Lord has not abandoned you during this struggle” and give your witness as to how our Lord is helping or guiding you.
Our strongest encouragement happens when we pray. Jesus lifts up our hearts. Now when Paul and Silas have prayed over each believer, by the Spirit’s direction elders are chosen in each of the three Churches that they started. As they leave to continue on they entrust our Lord’s Power to secure, protect, and increase their congregations. He does this for them and He does this for us.