Philemon: Only With Your Consent

Many, including myself, have complained the tone of Paul’s letter, even the wording, seems manipulative. How could Philemon make an honest decision, sprung from God at work in his heart, with Paul first complimenting him (ego strokes), then talking about Onesimus in such affectionate terms (pressure) and finally referring to himself as a mere elder asking permission (which seems to pluck the strings of guilt and shame)?

Philemon: Beloved

I give thanks to my God every time I pray for you, when you are brought to mind, because I hear of your love and your faith to the Lord Jesus, and to all the believers. And when I pray, I ask that the fellowship of your faith (with Jesus, and with the saints) would be powerful and effectual in discerning every good thing in us from Jesus, and every good thing to Jesus as well (for he is in us, and we are in him).