Philemon 1:22

ESV At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
NIV And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
NASB At the same time also prepare me a guest room, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you.
CSB Meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, since I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
NLT One more thing — please prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon.
KJV But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

What does Philemon 1:22 mean?

Paul ends the main body of his letter with a somewhat surprising request: for Philemon to have a guest room ready for him. Paul expected to be released soon from his Roman house arrest. How he knew this, we are not certain. Paul may have received a spiritual answer from God regarding his future. It is also possible that this letter was written near the end of his two years under house arrest, and his accusers had not yet appeared for his court case. Under Roman law, a prisoner held for two years without being confronted by his accusers had to be released.

The final phrase in this verse offers other wonderful insights. First, Paul recognized Philemon's prayers for his freedom. Undoubtedly, many Christians were praying for Paul's release during this time, even though Paul had been in jail for two years in Caesarea and then two more years in Rome. Philemon and the other Christians in the Colossian church were faithful in prayer.

Second, Paul planned to visit Philemon after his release. This was a huge statement, as Paul had previously mentioned his desire to take the message of Jesus to Spain (Romans 15:24–28). Now he planned to visit Philemon, and apparently soon, since he requested a room prepared for him. The letters of 1 Timothy and Titus both indicate Paul did have further ministry in this region of the Roman Empire before his death. It is uncertain whether Paul ever traveled to Spain.
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