Philippians begins like most of Paul’s epistles with an introductory paragraph including a salutation, followed by a thanksgiving. Philippians then moves into a substantive prayer of intercession. The inclusion of a significant prayer is included in Philippians and Colossians only. Another distinction in this letter is the inclusion of a detailed account of Paul’s current circumstances immediately following the opening paragraph. This report is usually included towards the end of the body of the letter in the “travelogue.” After Paul shares a description of his circumstances (vv. 12-17), he then includes a very moving expression of his attitude towards the Philippian believers (vv. 18-26). The inclusion of these unique elements reveals the close bond between Paul and the Philippi Church.
It is also possible Paul is including these sections in response to the monetary gift given by the Philippi Church. Not unlike modern-day missionaries, Paul is reporting what is going on with his current ministry and how it is able to flourish with the help of their support. Even though Paul is imprisoned, his work of the gospel has not ceased. He reassures them by sharing his hope that he will be released from prison soon. Paul concludes this chapter by encouraging the Philippians towards sanctification, standing firm in their faith and joining together in unity as a Church.
This is a great letter and I encourage you to read through these powerful four chapters!