[Philemon,] I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers because
I hear about your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people.
As you share the faith you have in common with others, I pray that you may come to have a complete knowledge of every blessing we have in Christ.
Your love [for God's people] gives me a lot of joy and encouragement. You, brother, have comforted God's people.
Christ makes me bold enough to order you to do the right thing.
However, I would prefer to make an appeal on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an old man and now a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
appeal to you for my child Onesimus [Useful]. I became his spiritual father here in prison.
Once he was useless to you, but now he is very useful to both of us.
I am sending him back to you. This is like sending you a part of myself.
I wanted to keep him here with me. Then he could have served me in your place while I am in prison for spreading the Good News.
Yet, I didn't want to do anything without your consent. I want you to do this favor for me out of your own free will without feeling forced to do it.