But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.
References for Philemon 1:9
I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.
Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.
References for Philemon 1:11
I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.
But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced.
It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever.
He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.