This post is Day 6 in a series of studies about “Philemon”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Philemon – Day 6
Paul was obviously blessed by hearing from others that the faith of Philemon was strong. Just think for a moment how did people know that. Were they members of his house church? Did people outside the church talk of Philemon as a believer, or as one who followed The Way?
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all His holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.
Here we look at the second part of yesterday’s verse. I do not think for one moment that Paul prayed for Philemon daily, he had too much to pray for, but I am sure that he prayed for him regularly, and obviously with rejoicing. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the thoughts of all the people we must pray for, have promised to pray for, or feel obliged to pray for. There are not enough hours in a day to fulfill that mission. And it is not a Biblical concept. We pray for people as God puts them on our minds and maybe according to a list which we keep updated with specific needs and prayer requests of others.
But this is a nice testimony from Paul, that when he prays for this friend he does it with gratitude. Philemon’s reputation had spread, and people were talking of his love which we can suppose was shown in generosity to those people meeting for “church” in his home.
Paul was obviously blessed by hearing from others that Philemon’s faith was strong. Think for a moment how did people know that. Were they members of his house church? Did people outside the church talk of Philemon as a believer, or one who followed The Way? That’s what Paul himself had confessed before the governor Felix (Acts 24:14).
Think today about the people you pray for regularly. Why do you pray for them? Do you pray with gratitude for who they have become? Or do you pray with worry that these people are heading in the wrong direction?
If you are attending a traditional church which has standard prayers, take time to read some of those prayers slowly and think about each phrase asking yourself what it really means.
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