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Summary: The Scriptural way to get your request considered

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#1237 How To Ask For A Favor?

Philemon 1-25

Everyone need a favor from someone at some time or other as they go through life. The human condition is such though, that we get into a tizzy at the thought of going to someone for that help because it may be perceived as a sign of weakness. We’re fearful of putting ourselves into a position whereby we may be asked for a favor in return; and no one wants to be in another person’s debt. In writing the epistle to Philemon, Paul used his wisdom to craft his request, and if we will follow his example we can ask favors of anyone with the expectation that they will respond in a positive way.

1. Greet the person as a friend (vv. 1-3).

A. Do you have any mutual friends? Bring up fond memories and exchange personal experiences which lift that

person up. Accentuating positives encourages accord and trust.

B. Seek a common bond. Is there some area of interest you share? Open up the conversation by making small

talk about it. Become a friend. Show yourself friendly (see Prov. 18:24).

2. Find some way to compliment the person (vv. 4-7).

A. Prepare yourself to approach that person by praying.

a. Ask God to bless the person and prepare his heart for your request.

b. Ask God to help you have your heart in the right place and to give you the right words.

B. Compliment the person about some achievement. Do everything you can to sustain his self esteem. People

love flattery.

3. Respectfully make your request known (vv. 8-17).

A. Excuse your boldness. Tell him you don’t want to be any trouble to him, but don’t lose sight of the reason for

your conversation. You’re so close. Don’t lose heart now.

B. Tell him how much you respect him. People love to be flattered. But keep it believable. Don’t just make

something up.

C. Ask the question. State your request clearly and concisely. If you’ve laid the groundwork, it will be very hard for

him not to grant your request.

4. What’s in it for him? (vv18-21).

A. Tell him that you appreciate him. Be sincere. People can read other people. When you tell someone you

appreciate them they feel important and it verifies their most positive image of themselves.

B. Offer to be available when he needs your help. Let him know that you consider him to be more than a friend;

that you consider him to be an ally too.

5. Keep it personal (vv. 22-25).

A. Defuse any remaining tension by directing the conversation to mutual acquaintances and friend. Say something

nice about the person you both know.

B. If it’s appropriate, ask for a referral to someone else who may be able to help your cause.

C. Do everything possible to leave a good impression, so that you can come back and possibly refer others to him

later on.

Whatever you’re asking for, be polite and respect the person’s time. Don’t get bogged down with a lot of small talk unless you both have the time to spare. Always pepper you conversation with talk of a spiritual nature. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a brother in Christ. If not, you can sow some seeds for the Lord.


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