So just how does Paul feel about Philemon? What is their relationship like? This verse lays it out for us…
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,
because I hear of your love and the faith that you have
towards the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,
First, he thanks God for him…always. Not once in awhile, but always. I have great kids, a great husband, but I’m not sure that I have “always” thanked God for them.
But when Paul thinks about Philemon, his heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness. I wish I could crawl into his mind and remember what he was remembering, but whatever it was, it was beautiful.
And Paul prays for Philemon. Think about it – what would it be like for Paul to pray for you? Would it be prayers of thanksgiving, or prayers for strength, confession, maybe humility? What would his prayers be for me?
And why did Paul thank God for Philemon? He was hearing, even in prison, how Philemon was loving the people around him. He was hearing about Philemon’s faith as he trusted God. And he was hearing how that love and faith were directed not only to God but to those around them.
What a wonderful way to be remembered? Philemon put feet to his faith, and his reputation went before him. Can’t you see Paul writing at his makeshift desk, smiling, musing, remembering what he had heard about Philemon.
Lord, help me put feet to my faith…