Philemon 1:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philemon 1:4, NIV: I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,

Philemon 1:4, ESV: I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,

Philemon 1:4, KJV: I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

Philemon 1:4, NASB: I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,

Philemon 1:4, NLT: I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon,

Philemon 1:4, CSB: I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers,

What does Philemon 1:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse mentions thanking God for the faith of the recipient, Philemon. This parallels verses such as Philippians 1:3 and Romans 1:8, which say something similar. Verse 4, however, adds the additional detail of Paul mentioning Philemon in his prayers. Perhaps the highest praise Paul could have given a Christian leader was claiming to personally thank God for him. Further, Paul is doing this on a regular basis. This is an excellent example of "building up" others, as described in Hebrews 10:24–25. This demonstrates that Paul was an encourager, as well as an author and apostle.

This letter to Philemon is short, yet it mentions prayer on two other occasions, showing how important the topic is. Verse 6 again mentions Paul's prayers for Philemon. Verse 22 speaks of Philemon's prayers for Paul's release from Roman house arrest, so he could return to stay with the Colossian Christians.