“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.”
How do you think Philemon felt reading this?
Paul says that he prays prayers of thanks for him (v.4) and that he knows how Philemon is loving those believers around him (v.5). Philemon knows that Paul is praying for him to really know and take hold of all the blessings of Christ in his life (v.6), and that Paul is overjoyed because he sees how Philemon is doing the work of the Gospel (v.7).
Philemon must have felt known, noticed, loved, and valued.
All this took from Paul was the truth, said in love. Paul spoke the truth about someone, to them, and in love.
‘I’m praying for you…
I appreciate how you are doing this…
I pray that God will bless you unbelievably…
I know and I see and I value all the good you are doing…’
They’re not difficult things to say, are they, yet they make a huge difference to someone’s day. Sure, Paul is going to move on to more serious matters soon enough, but for now what a wonderful way to start a letter. Philemon must have felt known, noticed, loved, and valued. All this took was Paul writing a sentence or two speaking the truth in love.
Today then, who can you do this for? Who can you send a quick message to telling them that you have prayed for them, that you see them, that you love them, and that you value them?
What will take a minute or less for you has the power to change someone’s day for the better!