Philemon 1:22 Confidence In Prayer

Philemon 1:22 (KJV)
But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

It has always been my position that, once Paul was taken into custody in Jerusalem, he spent the rest of his life a prisoner of Rome. I am aware that there are plenty of very good Bible students that believe he was released, traveled to Spain and possibly The British Isles and was later captured and executed. I personally love the concept that Paul went to what is now England. It has simply been my position to not read into Pauline history more than the Bible provides.

If there is Bible evidence of his release, I think this verse is it. Paul requested a room be prepared for him because he was confident that the prayers of the believers would effect his freedom. He prepared in advance for what he believed God would do.

Honestly, I do not know if their prayers were answered the way Paul believed they would be. God always answers prayer but it is not always the way we expect. What I do see in this passage is:

  • Confidence in prayer. I see
  • Action based upon that confidence. And I see
  • An application every Christian can practice.

We ought to pray and we ought to behave with confidence in the answers.

 

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Philemon 1:22 Confidence In Prayer

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Philemon 1:12-14 Really, This is How To Ask

Philemon 1:12-14 (KJV)
Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Paul demonstrated in this action, a generous and appropriate means of making a request.

Onesimus was a slave who had escaped to Rome. There he came into contact with Paul, probably being drawn to him because of his friendship with Philemon, Onesimus’ master. (Does this hint that Onesimus’ conscience had stricken him?)

Paul was blessed to lead Onesimus to a saving faith and would have loved to have him stay and be both, discipled by Paul and be a help to Paul. There is even, it seems to me, a veiled request for the same to Philemon. But Paul did it right. He sent Onesimus back so Philemon could make a fair decision whether to send him back to help Paul or not. He did not keep Onesimus and send a letter by some other means saying to the effect, “I have Onesimus. I led him to the Lord. I would like him to stay here and help me in your place. What do you say?”

I have been manipulated by more than my share of Christians who know it is their ethical duty to ask my permission for one thing or another but, wanting to be sure the permission is granted, couch the request in such a way that I will appear the bad guy if I do not grant it.

If a decision maker is not free to choose the negative, he has not really been given the authority the petitioner pretends have submitted to.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Philemon 1:12-14 Really, This is How To Ask

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Philemon 1:15 Perhaps?

Philemon 1:15 (KJV)
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

The Apostle Paul seems to choose his words very carefully.

He says, “perhaps” giving room for reconsideration.
I believe Paul was confident that God had used the departure of Onesimus for the furtherance of the Gospel. By employing the word “perhaps” he allows Philemon a window to dispute the position and thereby think about it and come to the mind of God. If Paul had been too forceful or dogmatic Philemon may have just stiffened up and not given the proposition place to settle in.

He says “departure” rather than to refer to Onesimus as a runaway.
Philemon would have been smarting over the loss of Onesimus. His absence would have caused financial loss. It would also have impacted his personal ego. Possession of a slave was a matter of social standing. To have lost one is indicative of irresponsible handling of the slave and might imply abuse (if the slave feels the need to escape).

Paul chose to soften the blow by labeling it a departure and then to reference the possibility of positive consequences.

Perhaps all our trials and difficulties would become softer and easier to rejoice in if we viewed them all as “perhaps used of God for eternal blessing.”

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Philemon 1:15 Perhaps?

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.