Our apostle being now come to the conclusion of his epistle, he shuts it up with salutations and prayers: first he salutes Philemon from Epaphras, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, some his fellow-prisoners, all his fellow labourers.
Here note, How graciously God provides for the comfort of his children in a prison; he sweetened St. Paul's affliction with the saint's communion: it was no joy to St. Paul that Epaphras was in prison, he had rather he had been preaching at Colosse; but seeing he was a prisoner, the apostle, no doubt, was very thankful that he was in the same prison with him, where they had opportunity (it is hoped) to pray together, to discourse, encourage, and comfort one another.
And note the cause of Epaphras's imprisonment, in Christ Jesus, that is for the sake of Christ Jesus. No doubt there were others in prison besides Epaphras, but none were St. Paul's fellow-prisoners but he, because though sufferers in the same prison, yet not for the same cause; Epaphras my fellow-prisoner saluteth thee.
Observe, 2. Our apostle's concluding prayer, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Here note, 1. The person prayed to, the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, our anointed king; from Christ we are called Christians, because every one of us, in our measures, are partakers of a divine unction with and from him, Ye have an unction from the Holy One. 1Jn_2:20 This oil ran down from the head of our great High-priest, to the very skirts of his garment.
Note, 2. The blessing prayed for, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit; that is, "May the special favour of God, both in its effects and influences, in its graces and comforts, reside in thy soul and spirit; may the blessed spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, not thy but your spirit: all the saints of God in general, yea, the whole race of mankind universally, must be remembered by us in our prayers.
Amen, is a word that denotes our earnestness of desire to be heard, and our comfortable expectation of being answered: it teaches us, that whatever we pray for should be rightly understood, firmly expected, and earnestly desired. They sin in prayer, who either do not understand what they pray for, or do not earnestly desire what they pray for, or do not believe God's readiness to grant what they pray for; therefore in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard in prayer, we say Amen.