Forgiveness grants freedom to pray. Philemon 1:21-22
Paul indicates his confidence in Philemon's response to his appeal in verse 21. He also indicates in verse 22 that Philemon is a praying man, since Paul's hope to see Philemon is predicated on Philemon's prayers for his release (Paul was imprisoned). It is no accident then that the confidence of Philemon forgiving Onesimus and mention of Philemon as a man of prayer are linked together.
Anytime we forgive, our prayer-life is freed from the shackles imposed by a bitter heart. James 4:1-3 warns what happens when unforgiveness clashes with our prayer-life - "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain;so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." The freedom of forgiveness setting our prayer-life free is illustrated in Colossians 3:13-15 "bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."
Forgiveness grants freedom to operate in God's power. Philemon 1:20-25
We've spent the last several days considering the refreshing benefits of forgiveness. We saw how forgiveness frees us to put down offenses, enjoy God's forgiveness, pray and walk in the power of the Spirit. May we take to heart what the Spirit of God intended Paul to write in "The Book of Forgiveness" - Philemon.