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The letter from Paul known as the ‘epistle of joy’ is a thank-you note to the believers at Philippi for their help in his hour of need. It provides instruction on Christian unity. His central thought is simple: only in Jesus are real unity and joy possible. This commentary pulls the rich truth from this letter and makes it live for us today.

The introductory thanksgiving, which itself included an element of prayer, is now followed by an intercessory prayer (strictly speaking, a prayer report). The subject matter of this prayer is identical with the subject matter of the letter as a whole; here are concentrated the main concerns to which Paul gives fuller expression throughout the letter. 1:9 / This is my prayer: which catches up “I pray” in verse 4 (although a different Greek word is now used), may mean “I am praying at this moment” (which
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