Tag Archives: The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:13a

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Matthew 6:13a (KJV)

Dear God, before I get into this verse, I want to talk a little about my experience at church this morning. In fact, I might end up spending all of my time on this and the verse can wait until tomorrow.

Although I am not Catholic, I attend Catholic mass with my wife. Once or twice a month she is the canter, so she leads in the songs and the psalm. When she does this, I sit in the pew right in front of where she stands so that we can sit with each other when she is not up front. The way the church is laid out, and being a Catholic Church, there is a practically life-sized crucifix right in front of that pew. From my seat, I can literally reach out and touch Jesus’s feet if I want. Normally, I will look up at Jesus during the service. Or during the “Gloria” song I will look at the painting at the top of the church that shows Jesus on his heavenly throne. It is always an interesting juxtaposition to see the crucified Jesus in the foreground and the exalted Jesus in the background. I like the imagery of it.

Today, however, was different. I couldn’t bring myself to look up. I just looked at his feet, with the spike through them and blood tastefully painted on them (nothing too gory). For whatever reason, I didn’t want to approach Jesus with any feelings of equality today. I wanted to be there as if I were really in Jesus’s presence. How would I react if that were really Jesus? How would I act if Jesus was standing in front of me? My answer was that I wouldn’t be able to look up. My eyes would probably only be able to look at his feet—his bloody, hole-filled feet. So during the service I only looked at his feet, and when I knelt on the kneeler to pray, I was literally on my knees at the foot of the cross. The prayers I offered to you seemed to take on a new meaning today. I don’t know that I’ll ever look at praying and worshipping from that particular seat in the same way again.

So now, as I come to you and ask that you lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil, how serious am I about that prayer? Am I thinking of it as kind of an abstract request that isn’t realistic, or am I at the foot of your cross, looking only at your feet—the feet of your son whom you sacrificed—asking for mercy as I make my way through life? What do I do to keep myself out of temptations way? Do I make your job impossible? And when I have evil being done around me or to me, either passively or aggressively, is my prayer truly that you would be my protector, or do I take it upon myself to avenge the wrongs done around me?

Father, as I pray to you right now, I am doing I my best to put myself literally at the foot of your cross. I am asking that you truly keep me from temptation. Open my eyes to it. Open my eyes to my own foolishness. And the only evil I feel I have a right to ask that you keep me from is the evil that Satan wants to do to my soul. All other evils done around me or to me might just be part of your kingdom coming and your will being done on earth as they are in heaven. So take my life, Lord, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 29, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:12b

… as we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:12b (KJV)

Dear God, this isn’t groundbreaking theology, but it’s still worth noting: the key concept Jesus included in this prayer is represented by the word “as.” Because I think this word is so important, I doublechecked several translations (NIV, NAS, and NLT) and they all used the same word: as. I think my thoughts are in two directions as it pertains to this passage:

  1. What kind of forgiveness do you offer me that I am supposed to offer others? As I think about yours and my relationship, it occurs to me that you do expect something on my part. You expect humility. You expect repentance. Now, there are times when I don’t know that I’ve sinned and grieved you. But there are other times when I know I have sinned against you and others. There is a reason that the AA 12-step program includes making amends when it won’t do harm to the other person. But there is a step of repentance on my part before relationship with you can be whole. I can’t just walk obstinately doing what I want and then expect to be in relationship with you. The Prodigal Son was not in relationship with his father until he came to the end of himself and repented. And I’m not talking about heaven, hell, and what happens in the afterlife. I’m talking about right now. An important part of my daily relationship with you is humbling myself before you in relation to who you are and the things I’ve done wrong and then asking your forgiveness. Of course, you are quick to forgive me because you love me. So is that my model for the forgiveness I’m supposed to extend to others? That leads me to my next question.
  2. Where do I draw the line when it comes to releasing someone vs. staying in relationship with them? If I am to forgive 70 X 7, does that mean I should just continually take abuse and absorb the wrongs someone else does to me when they are either repentant but incapable of change (I think that’s the 70 X 7 one) as opposed to the person who simply does whatever they want regardless of how it impacts me?

I spent some time with a woman yesterday whose husband is a severe alcoholic. She has school-aged children and finally told him to leave a couple of weeks ago. He would promise to change but never would. Finally, for her own sanity she had to make a hard decision for her and her children.

As for me, I have some incredible anger right now towards loved ones who have repeatedly done the same thing to me over and over again for the last 20+ years. And they’ve never really asked forgiveness for any of it, but I’ve tried to keep showing mercy and grace. Now, however, this last offense has left me wondering if I made a mistake to not walk away 23 years ago. Have I been foolish to try to maintain relationship? Did it cost more than it should have?

Father, maybe I need to understand more of how you forgive me before I can understand how I am supposed to forgive others. I love others. I truly love the people who have wronged me. But if there is no humility–if there is no remorse–is it possible to be in relationship? It seems to me that the answer in my relationship with you is, no, if you have made me aware of my wrong and I do not repent then our relationship while I am on this side of heaven is impacted. So I am sorry. I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused you. I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused others. Please help me to be willing to examine my heart and my actions as I am confronted with any of these things so that I might be part of your kingdom coming to earth and your will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 26, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:12a

And forgive us our debts,…
Matthew 6:12a (KJV)

Dear God, I started this verse and almost focused on the second part, skipping over the first, so I decided to avoid my mistake of skipping over “Our Father which art in heaven” and going straight to “hallowed be thy name” in verse 9. I don’t want to miss Jesus’s instruction that we should ask forgiveness of you.

The humility to ask forgiveness of you is the first step on the road to discipleship. None of us can come to you in our own power or under our own authority. None of us can stand up before you. You are good and perfect. We are flawed and sinful. You are loving. I am too sensitive and get my fragile ego hurt too easily. I need your mercy. I need your grace. I need you to forgive my debts against you and against others.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the steps in a 12-step program is for a person working the steps to make amends when it won’t do harm to do so. And there are certainly times when it would do harm. But the humility it takes to come before you and before another person to ask forgiveness is an essential element, if not a huge part of the foundation, of the Christian life.

I still remember hearing a politician who called himself a Christian telling an interviewer before a large Christian audience that he had never felt the need to ask you for forgiveness. He had had multiple divorces and affairs. He had left creditors hanging with unpaid debt. Heck, even without all of those things, he was an imperfect human. I was very confused with the audience applauded his answer.

Father, forgive me of my debts, please. We will get to what I need to do about others’ debts to me tomorrow, but for the debts I owe to you and to those around me, please forgive me. I am sorry. I’m sorry I fail you. I’m sorry I hurt others for my own gain. I’m sorry I sometimes pick the path of least resistance for my own comfort and at the expense of others. I’m sorry I sometimes take revenge on others for the wrongs done to me (that gets into tomorrow’s verse, but it counts for today as well). Thank you that the man who taught us to pray all of this is the pathway to you. Thank you that I can stand before you on his authority and with his blessing. Thank you for making a way for me to reach you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 25, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:11

Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11 (KJV)

Dear God, what does my daily bread look like? On the surface, I think it communicates that it provides for my basic physical needs: food, shelter, clothing. So to what extent should we be satisfied if those things are met? When is enough enough?

I have a vested interest in the current Big 12 Conference situation since the school I attended will likely get lost in the shuffle. This morning, I read an article about OU and Texas wanting more. For Texas’s part, they are already the wealthiest program in the nation, generating the most revenue. But that apparently is not enough. They want more. And I’m not blaming them. The school I went to has enough, but I want more for it too. We seemingly always want more.

But Jesus didn’t seem to want more in terms of material things. It’s important, I think, to notice what is not in his prayer. He did NOT say, “Give me influence. Give me power. Make my name great so I can make your name great.” He just kept it at the basics. After we ask for your will to be done (see verse 10) then we simply ask for your provision of our basics so that our greed will not get in the way of accomplishing your will.

I mentioned the material basics. What are the other parts of our daily bread about which we don’t normally think? For example, someone to love us. Someone to love. Work to do. I think those things can be as important and critical to our lives as the food, shelter, and clothing that sustain us.

Father, show me what my daily bread is, and help me to be completely satisfied within its provision. Thank you for the food, shelter, and clothing I have. Thank you that I feel safe in my day-to-day life. I don’t experience racism because I’m a white male. Please help to be sensitive to the daily bread that others around me don’t experience and show me my role in being part of your provision to them. Whether it be through giving of material things or the other needs they have, please help me to be your ambassador, your hands, your feet, your ears, and your heart for them. And the them includes my wife, children, family, friends, and the strangers I meet.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 24, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:10

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 (KJV)

Dear God, I confess that I have zero idea what it would look like to see your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. What was Jesus envisioning here? Was it literal, or was it a combo with the idea of your will being done on earth? Well, anyway, if it makes a difference, I ask that your kingdom would come. Is it the end of the time you’ve prescribed for the earth to live without your kingdom in it? Is the the hour? I doubt it. But Jesus seems to have instructed me to ask for it, and I can’t say I’ve ever asked. So please let your kingdom come.

As for your will, we’ll, that does seem like a whole different thing altogether now that I think about it. If we are living among the earthly kingdoms and not yours then your will might look very different than what I want it to be. In an imperfect world, I might not get my perfect outcomes. The butterfly effect of how the things you might have to do to accomplish your ultimate goals is much more than my feeble brain can comprehend. Heck, I can’t even figure out how Baylor will come out of the collapse of the Big 12. How could I possibly discern what actions are required to accomplish your will being done here on earth as it is in heaven? But I do know I trust in submitting to your plan. It might mean seeing things in my life I don’t understand and don’t like. For my children. My wife. My family of origin. My work. My own life, including health, financial security, and career. All of it is up for grabs, but part of the peace I’ve found comes from submitting all of my will to the idea that your will being done on earth as it is in heaven is worth overriding my will.

Father, help me to actually believe and live the words I just typed above. Help me to want to see beyond my selfish desires—both for me and for the ones I love—and be at peace regardless of the circumstances. Let me be part of your kingdom coming to earth. Let me be part of your will being done on earth. My utmost for your highest. I’m sorry I turn that around so often and ask that you give your utmost for my highest. I’m sorry.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 23, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer


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The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:9

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matthew 6:9 (KJV)

Dear God, when I was praying through this very first part of the prayer Jesus taught us the other day, I missed an important part: Father. Our Father. My Father. What is the implication here in saying that you are my father? As a man, what is a father supposed to still provide me? As your child, what is it that I should look to you to provide me?

The trick is that most of us get our image of our earthly father mixed up with the image of you as our father. Some of us have good fathers. Some bad. Most of us have a father who is somewhere in the middle–tries their best but flawed. I think I fit in that category for my adult children. So what is it that they need from me now and what is it that you want them to have from me? More importantly, what kind of damage can I do if I get in your way and short-circuit lessons you might be trying to teach them through the path you’ve laid out for them?

As for me and what I think I need from you as my father, here are some things off of the top of my head:

  • Wisdom and discernment
  • Forgiveness and mercy (that probably should have been first)
  • The fruit of your Spirit to grow in me and out of me (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, self control, etc.)
  • My daily bread (I’ll dive more into that in a few days)
  • Love and acceptance

Now that I look at it, other than giving my adult children their daily bread, I would be pleased if they could get all of those things from me, including seeing the fruit of your Spirit growing in me and then they too would be drawn to you through that.

Father (I always start this last paragraph addressing you as “Father,” but today I’d like to underscore it), thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. Thank you for the fruit of your Spirit. Thank you for loving and accepting me. Please give me wisdom and discernment as I move through this day. Love through me. Show mercy through me. And please provide my daily bread, and help me to know how to use the resources you’ve given me both in my personal life and through my work so that your kingdom will come and your will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 22, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer— Matthew 6:9 (KJV)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matthew 6:9 (KJV)

Dear God, I think we tend to read over this part of the Lord’s Prayer, but it’s no accident that acknowledging you, who you are, and your holiness is the first step. “Hallowed be thy name.” How often we forget to worship you in our prayers. How often I forget.

I decided to look up a definition for “hallowed.” Here’s what I found on Merriam-Webster:

When the translators for the King James version were coming up with what word they should use to describe what the original text was saying, this was the best they could do. Since then, other translators have taken a shot at it:

  • New American Standard: Hallowed
  • New International Version: Hallowed
  • New Living Translation: Holy

It’s interesting that two out of the three stayed with Hallowed. I guess when you get it right you get it right, and the translators of the King James Version got it right. That’s as good as we can do in the English language for revering your name.

Father, help me to remember to revere you in everything I do. Help me to always lead with worship and reverence whenever I pray to you. Help me to not forget that this is the most important part of my prayer—that’s why it’s first. You are my God. You are my Lord. You are the only one in whom I can put my trust. I cannot put my faith in our government or military, our economy, my relatives, my wife, my children, my health, etc. All I have is you. You are my hope. You are my source for peace. Hallowed is your name.

Of course, I pray all of this through the grace of your precious son and in his name, Jesus,


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Posted by on July 20, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



The Lord’s Prayer — Matthew 6:8-13

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:8-13

Dear God, I was at a meeting of pastors two days ago and one of the pastors told this story (my paraphrase).

I was at a symposium in Scotland and before every session we would say the Lord’s Prayer. Then at the end of every session we would say the Lord’s Prayer. On about the third day I had my head bowed and thought to myself, “Don’t they know any other prayers?” Then I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me, “It’s a pretty good prayer.” Then I thought to myself, “Maybe I don’t know it as well as I think I do.” So for a year it was just about the only prayer I prayed, and I found out I didn’t, indeed, know it as well as I thought I did.

That made me consider the idea that maybe I don’t know it well enough either. I’m not sure I will go the course of only praying this for a year, but I do want to give it a good week, and think through the depths of each part. After all, “it is a pretty good prayer.”

I decided to go with the King James Version from Matthew since that’s the most universally recited among English speakers.

I guess I’ll start with Jesus’s introduction because it seems important. He said, “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” He’s following up on the part about not doing as the heathen do and praying repetitious things impressively out loud (although if one were to pray only this over and over out loud I suppose it could fall in the same category).

Ironically, I’ve been asked to give the invocation at our local city council meeting tonight. This is the perfect example of an opportunity to focus on sounding impressive in front of people of power in my community as opposed to truly coming before your throne in front of those same people and asking your hand to be on their hearts and in the proceedings. Of course, my plan this evening is to stay for the entire meeting, sitting in a back corner and praying for everyone in the room and everything happening in the room.

On a slightly different tack on Jesus’s words here, there are times when I wonder if I am violating what you are saying here by posting these prayers to you on my blog. My rationale for continuing to do it and feeling like it has your blessing is that it feels like you continue to meet with me during these times and the reason I blog these prayers is to encourage others in their relationship with you.

Father, the words in this passage are for me. Help me to continually be submitted to you as I approach this time in prayer and be glorified through the words I speak/think/type to you. Use these times to mold and change my heart. To learn. To worship. To repent. To beseech. To extend mercy. To love.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 17, 2021 in Matthew, The Lord's Prayer



Just a Prayer

Dear God, sometimes I forget to just spend some time with you. I was sitting here this morning trying to think of what scripture/song/image/story to use as a starting point for my journal and then I thought, “What if you just talk to God without any of that stuff?” Hmm. Interesting concept.

Of course, there are concerns on my heart, but I don’t want to start this prayer there. I want to start by simply saying that I trust you. And when I don’t trust you, I really intend to trust you. I have said this many times before, but I’m like that father asking you to heal his son: “I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Father, I trust you. Help my distrust. Help me to accept the fact that you are doing things I cannot see and that your plans are good. When I am disappointed that my prayers are seemingly going unanswered, help me to let go of what I think the answers should be.

I’d also like to say that I’m sorry for my hubris. I’m sorry that I think too much of myself and what I have to offer you. I’m sorry for sinning. I’m sorry for coveting, lying, lusting, and lethargy. I’m sorry that sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I’m sorry that, even for brief moments in my heart, I complain to you. I’m sorry that I don’t always bring my burdens to you, but try to solve things on my own. I’m sorry for judging others instead of trying to see them with your eyes and loving them. I’m sorry for being downright selfish. Thank you for making a bridge for me to reach you through all of my pain and using that bridge to make me a better man.

In talking about trusting you and complaining about my circumstance, I’m reminded of your words to Job in Job 38 when you say:

It’s funny, but after praying all of that about trust and repentance

“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’ “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors. The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence. “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
Job 38:2-21

Oh, how I hope you never have to speak that way to me (again). I know you’ve had cause to in the past because I have grumbled against you. I am truly sorry.

It’s interesting how starting a prayer talking about trusting you regardless of my situation and repenting changes the rest of the prayer. Yes, I have a list of supplications I’d like to bring to you, but they seem wrong now. I have children, nieces and nephews, siblings, and parents on my heart. I have work. I have friends. All of these things are on my heart. Some of them are tragic and some are in life-threatening situations. But in the grand scheme of your sovereignty and your plan, the prayers for solving these various issues seem wrong. No, what I want to pray for is that you will bring all of us into perfect relationship with you, and that you will make any pain that is being suffered by someone count. Don’t let it return void, but use it for your glory.

Father, that is my prayer today. It’s largely the Lord’s Prayer. My Father in Heaven. Hallowed be your name. May your kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give me this day my daily bread, and forgive me of my sins as I forgive those that sin against me. And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours forever and ever.

It is in Jesus’s name and the power of what he did that I dare to approach you and pray,



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Matthew 6:9-13

Matthew 6:9-13 [NLT]
9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Dear God, it’s interesting to compare the different Bible translations for the Lord’s Prayer. Subtle word changes can make a difference. I normally use either the New Living Translation or the New American Standard. In this case, I’ve put the NLT above.

I want to start this by putting some other versions below. Let’s start with the one a lot of us know by heart–the King James Version:

King James Version

9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Then I want to look at the most popular version when I was a kid, the NIV:

New International Version

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

And finally, for some variety, The Message:

The Message

With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

A couple of interesting things. First, for whatever reason, the KJV adds “for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” Where did that come from? Not that I disagree, but the others don’t have that at all.

I also think The Message is a radical departure from the others, and I don’t like it. I think Mr. Peterson changed too much to make it contemporary. Having tried to take some old English texts and translate them into modern English, I can appreciate how hard this is. That being said, I think he went too far afield from what is meant.

The part about “trespasses,” “debts,” and “sins” is interesting. Of course, most of us learned trespasses, but I never understood that as a child. I had a pastor in middle school and high school that used “sins.” I like that better.

With all of that said, when I am in church and saying the prayer, here is what I say. And I pray this to you now:

My Father, who is in Heaven
Hallowed (I’ve never found a better word than that) be your name
Your kingdom come, your will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give me this day my daily bread
And forgive me of my sins,
As I forgive those who sin against me
And lead me not into temptation,
But deliver me from evil
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
Now and forever.

I pray all of this by the power of the blood of the man, your son, who taught me to pray it,


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Posted by on March 12, 2019 in Matthew


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