Acts 20:36-38
Acts 20:36 (KJB)
And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Once Paul had finished his speaking to them, they then went to their knees and he prayed with them all. I am sure in his prayer, he asked the Lord to watch over them and to strengthen them when the persecution comes. It was probably also a prayer of encouragement. It was no doubt a fervent prayer and probably lasted quite a while because Paul knew how to pray.
Acts 20:37 (KJB)
And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
Sore - considerable, long, much
After they had completed their praying, there was a time of weeping because they knew the time for Paul to depart was upon them and they knew that in this world they would never see him again. It was a time of great sadness because he had been like a father to them yet it was a time of rejoicing because of them having come to know Paul in this life and knowing that some day, they will be together with him eternally. It is where they all are right now just waiting for the consummation of the age. In Bible times, the kiss was a sign of affection and love for an individual and now it was a kiss of farewell. This is why Judas added a new dimension to the kiss when he kissed the Lord Jesus Christ in the garden. We know of it as a “kiss of betrayal or kiss of death.”
Acts 20:38 (KJB)
Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
This was not just an ordinary parting of the ways, it was the final time they would ever see Paul and this gave them considerable sorrow. Paul’s ministry to them had evoked a love for him because he always put them first in his mind. They also reciprocated with their great love for him. Then as a further and final show of respect for Paul, they accompanied him to the ship at Miletus and I am sure they waited to see the ship go out of sight and then went back to the church in Ephesus and reported to them about Paul never coming back which probably evoked more sorrow in their hearts.