In the sixth verse of Philemon, Paul writes, “…I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective…” Philemon is a wealthy man whose runaway slave, after being converted to Christ, is being sent back to him by Paul. Paul’s prayer and desire are that the “fellowship” or sharing of Philemon’s faith will become “effective” or energetic and active. Paul wants Philemon to put his faith and the sharing of his faith into action by receiving Onesimus in love.
The fact that Paul wrote the letter, made the request of Philemon, and prayed this prayer demonstrates his love and concern. There is a potential for conflict and division when what Paul desires most are forgiveness and unity.
Do we think, pray, and love like Paul? We should have the same desires among our brethren, never being entertained by conflict. We should pray the same prayer that Paul prayed, wanting the faith of our brothers and sisters to be energetically and actively shared. We should have the same concern for the damage caused by conflict and division in the church, always remembering the perfect unity that we should have in Christ.