International Standard Version
Paul’s Prayer for Philemon
4I always thank my God when I mention youf in my prayers, 5because I keep hearing about your love for all the saints and the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus. 6I prayg that your partnership in the faith may become effective as you fully acknowledge every blessing that is oursh in the Messiah.i 7For I have received considerable joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed, brother, through you.
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
8For this reason, although in the Messiahj I have complete freedom to order you to do what is proper, 9I prefer to make my appeal on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an old man and now a prisoner of the Messiahk Jesus, 10appeal to you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. 11Once he was useless to you, but now he is very usefull both to you and to me. 12As I send him back, it’s like I’m coming along with him.m 13I wanted to keep him with me so that he could serve me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel. 14Yet I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be something forced, but voluntary. 15Perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a while, so that you could have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave but better than a slave—as a dear brother, especially to me, but even more so to you, both as a person and as a believer.n
17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcomeo me. 18If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. (I will not mention to you that you owe me your very life.) 20Yes, brother, I desire this favor from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Messiah!p 21Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you because I know that you will do even more than I ask. 22Meanwhile, prepare a guest room for me, too, for I am hoping through your prayers to be returned to you.
Greetings from Paul’s Fellow Workers
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in the Messiahq Jesus, sends your greetings, 24as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25May the grace of ours Lord Jesus, the Messiah,t be with your spirit! Amen.u
a 1 The Gk. lacks From
b 1 Or Christ
c 1 Or our beloved Philemon
d 3 Or Christ
e 3 The Gk. yours is pl.
f 4 From verse 4 through v. 21, you and your are sing.
g 6 The Gk. lacks I pray
h 6 Other mss. read yours (pl.)
i 6 Or Christ
j 8 Or Christ
k 9 Or Christ
l 11 The Gk. name Onesimus means useful
m 12 Lit. back, it’s with my innards
n 16 Or both in the flesh and in the Lord
o 17 The Gk. lacks you would welcome
p 20 Or Christ
q 23 Or Christ
r 23 The Gk. you is sing.
s 25 Other mss. read the
t 25 Or Christ
u 25 Other mss. lack Amen.