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Lord God, help us to quiet ourselves before You that we will hear Your voice.

The world wants us masked up, shut up, and shut down. Maybe they are unknowingly giving us a clue that we could not see until now.

Does God like to show up when we are quiet and still, or does He want us to fight and take a stand?  The answer to both questions is a resounding YES! We need to ask Him to help us discern His times and seasons. Is this a time where we could be both quiet AND take our stand simultaneously? YES!

How might something as small as fasting our tongues, lips, and keyboard fingers for 3 days change our circumstances?


Before we go any further, we know what you are thinking, “Be quiet? Are you kidding? I’ve been stuck inside the house for a year with the same people. Our home is never quiet if anyone is awake because we have nothing to do but are somehow busy people!”

We don’t mean silence: we mean quieting your words, and, more importantly, your soul, for just three days with us as we collectively examine our hearts, sit humbly – in deep repentance in His presence, and ask God to hear us by singing to Him.

From Thursday evening, February 25 through Sunday evening, February 28, we are calling for God’s people in our community to be still. Why? Because that weekend is Purim – and it is a time when the script can flip.

Purim, which is celebrated two days, is unique this year: beginning Thursday evening, it will take a pause to cease for Sabbath from Friday to Saturday evening, ending Sunday evening.

Is this a big fat neon sign pointing at a specific time to be quiet?

Purim is found in the story of Queen Esther. It is quite the soap opera. Queen Esther, secretly Jewish, discovers the Jews are to be annihilated by royal decree of the King of Persia – who happens to be her husband. That’s awkward. She is informed of this by her Uncle Mordecai who asks her to ask the king to reverse his decree.

Only kings in Babylon/Medo-Persia do not reverse their decrees. Ever.

Esther was reasonably nervous about this impossible request which could easily result in her death. King Ahasuerus had eliminated Vashti, the previous queen. Esther gives Mordecai a valid excuse to be quiet, stay in her chambers and mind her own business.

Mordecai’s response to her was very stern in Esther 4:13-14:

“Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Mordecai explains this unique moment in time is critical for God’s people. Queen Esther is perfectly positioned to change predicted outcomes. Mordecai warns her, if she chooses to remain silent, God will find another willing person to bring relief and deliverance. When a person in position of governmental authority remains silent, but could have acted, they bear the brunt of the outcome due to their failure to address the issue.

The Hebrew word for silent here is used twice when translated remain silent in English. Mordecai urges her not to be silent silent.

This word does not mean to be quiet. It means to not listen.

It means you heard what is going on but give approval for it to continue by not listening to the complaint of the people, and then speaking up, like someone who sticks their fingers in their ears during an argument and says, “LA LA LA LA LA LA I am not listening to you.

Is Yahweh listening to us right now? Like Linda? Watch this video. Has our prayer life been like this over the last year? (To be clear, we are the kid.)

We have not listened listened to Him. We have not listened to the things that He says to do in His word. He is done listening to us. He is done arguing with us. Our defiance has us heading for a pow-pow.

Talking more. Praying more. Pleading more. Reasoning more and declaring more that our will be done is not helping. 

He is being silent silent with us and allowing the condition of the world now to stand because we have not followed His instructions.

But we know these things to be true:

In 2 Chronicles 7:13-15, God even gives us a clear recipe on how to change our circumstances: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”

The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy but God, in His mercy, will hear His children when they humble themselves. He knows what we need without us speaking a word and will restore what the “locusts” have taken from us. The thief must return up to seven times what he has stolen, even if it costs him everything.

Has the enemy stolen your peace, hope, love for each other, unity, faith, and the truth? He chips away at our shalom until we are worn out, weary, broken and fighting everything – especially with our words, because he understands the power of our speech, even if we don’t.

Words create life or death and the Hebrew word for “words” (debar) is related to the Hebrew word for “bees” (deborah).

Have your words been pleasant, little pollinators moving from flower to flower in the Kingdom spreading the gospel over the last year to bear good fruit of the Spirit, or have you been stinging everyone, including Him, in person and online?

He has heard every word that every single person has said during this test of our faith.

We choose which voice to listen to: the voice whispering lies, death, and destruction or Yahweh’s small still voice whispering truth, hope and life. To hear it, we must be silent.

When the Israelites were about to cross the Red Sea, they are pressed up against impossible odds – sea on one side, really mad Egyptians on the other. Moses is pretty sure God is going to handle business because only hours early He performed amazing miracles with the Passover.

Moses confidently exhorts the Israelites, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.  The Lord will fight for you, you need only be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

The same word Mordecai uses twice in his advice to Queen Esther; Moses only uses once. Both times, the Israelites are freaking out, complaining, murmuring, and upset with their new circumstances. Mordecai advised the Queen to listen listen and speak up for the people.  Moses told the people to zip it.

Because Moses told the people to be silent, they were delivered from danger the earthly king posed by The King. Because Queen Esther was not silent silent, her people were saved by the earthly king, whose heart was moved in mercy by The King.

Purim and Passover have more connections besides Moses and Mordecai telling people to talk or not talk.  The decree that King Ahasuerus issued against God’s people was announced on Nisan 13, the day before Passover. Nisan 13 is the same day that Christ held the Last Supper to renew the covenant and indicate He would be back for His bride.

Also, Purim wound up being a judgment day of sorts for the people of Persia who chose to fight against God’s people. They called the day Purim because Haman, our villain in this story, cast lots to determine the exact day to execute this judgement. Purim is linguistically connected to The Judgement Day – Yom Kippur – when the High Priest cast lots to deal with the goats.

Haman was not the High Priest. Haman messed up and cast lots against the sheep of God’s pasture.  Dealing with any goats in your life lately?

Esther was a Queen in a position of authority that we are not. We are just – we the people. As believers, we are subjects of The King who is in His holy temple. The same King who requested that the earth keep silence before Him the last time He sent in the Chaldeans. The word silence Habakkuk used differs from the word silent used in the Moses and Esther stories, but contextually it is the same as the story back in Exodus.

This word Habakkuk uses when God speaks means “HUSH! ZIP IT YOU GUYS! JUST STOP TALKING! I HAVE TOTALLY GOT THIS. PLEASE.”

As judgment begins to fall upon the Church first, instead of sitting as if a queen, we should be following the example of the 24 elders by casting our crowns at His feet in humility.

Is this all worthy of our reflection, and silent repentance, – for such a time as this?

We have hope that our stillness before Yahweh will be heard by Him. We have hope that He will help our leaders speak and not remain silent. We believe that our hope will not be put to shameGod’s ways are not our ways and sometimes we must do something different to bring the accelerated change we need.

We know it will be difficult for everyone to be completely quiet but here are ways you can participate. This is a fast individuals can participate even with most health issues. Commit to these as best you can, then join us Sunday night for corporate worship and prayer:

  • Carve out quiet space during these three days to read God’s word. Do not ASK Him for anything. Listen to what He has said in His word. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your focus.
  • Do not text.
  • Do not use your phone.
  • Do not return emails.
  • Do not surf the web.
  • Keep the electronics off.
  • Absolutely, above all, do not watch the news.
  • If you must use your voice, sing praises to Him. Psalms that request Him not to be silent include Psalm 28, 35, 39, 50, 83 and 109. Start with those.
  • Sing Psalm 119 out loud. Multiple times over the weekend. It is full of wisdom and praise for His instructions. Let Him know you have heard His instruction and wisdom.

We are in danger of forgetting how to even blush. What a dangerous time to let that happen. In Jeremiah 6 & 8, Yahweh warns us, warns us of the danger of not listening to Him.

Let’s become His blushing bride again. Fall in love with His Word again. Let’s all come silently before our King and wait for Him to respond by reaching out His scepter to draw us near to Him in His mercy.

Father – you are able to humble the proud. We have arrogantly fought in our own strength against the new things You are doing on the earth. Help us to humble ourselves before you as your judgments continue to fall. Help us to listen to what Your Word says to do. Help us to hold our tongues so that You may speak and please forgive us for idle or destructive words we have spoken, especially when using Your sword.  Heal the ears of our neighbors we may have wounded.

Shelley McLaughlin is a passionate IFA intercessor and devoted student of the Word. (Photo Credit: Canva.)

Share your prayers in the comments below that we would be a people that listens to God. . .

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  1. our phone and internet was off for 3 days this week – and Yes God has been showing me spend more time with Him no news and etc most of this last year –agree with the above

  2. Thank you Shelley McLaughlin for this invitation to spend this time in a fast from words. For me, this is an answer to prayer. Ever since January 4, 2021 when the Lord broke my heart when He confronted me with the raw, unadulterated truth of our nation allowing the brutal torture and slaughter of millions of babies for 48 years through legalized abortion. When confronted by the Lord, I was overcome with grief and repentance. When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do; at the same time telling the Lord that no one would listen to me a 75 year old grandmother who lives alone; The Lord instructed me to talk to pastors, elders, and other church leaders. The message to the church leaders was that they needed to lead their congregations in prayers of repentance. I have spoken to 3 pastors in person and have sent out a letter addressing this issue to about ten more leaders. I will not stop until the Lord tells me my task is finished. Anyway I have been working on this, also telling others to get involved. I have a brain disorder where I am easily distracted plus I have a little dog that I have to care for, I try to help people when I can which sometimes takes away my time alone with my Lord and King Jesus Christ so this is a good way to get my priorities in order. Lord Jesus, thank You for Shelley and this wonderful article taken from Your word; please bless Shelley in all she does for Your glory; and please help each one of us who chooses to do this fast to focus on You and do this well. Thank You Lord

    Amen! 8
  3. Thank you for informing us about Purim starting tonight. I had never heard of it. I love the story of Esther! As others have mentioned I too was feeling I wasn’t spending enough quality time with the Lord. I was spending more time reading the news, social media, and YouTube videos. Then the season of Lent started on Feb 17th and I decided to fast TV watching. Now I hear about Purim and I can’t help but feel God is speaking to His children the message of silence and listen to me. He has something for His children to really hear. I will make every effort to follow all the disciplines for this weekend. Lord Jesus we humbly ask You to speak to our hearts, as we listen.

    Amen! 8
  4. A verse in Psalm 27 really spoke to me this morning and after reading this article, I was impressed that this is the word the Lord has for me and other intercessors for a time such as this.
    Psalm 27:8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me”. And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming”.

    Amen! 11
  5. Thank you for that wonderful article I was very encouraged by it. I love the book of Ester. I didn’t realize that Purim started today.I will certainly join in with everyone in prayer and fasting and will encourage my brothers in the Lord do the same! Thanks again God bless you and our country!

    Amen! 6
  6. “Come to the quiet”. An album of music put out many years ago by John Michael Talbot came to mind as I read this article.
    It will not be easy to do what is recommended in the article but I see that for any of us, it is necessary to do in order to break certain habits we have formed. Quietness has become a big part of my routine as of late and while it has taken time to get used to it, I can already see that it has made a difference in how I see, understand God, pray or think.
    I do believe that for many people who get their “news” from IFA, it will be a fight within themselves to break away for 3 days. But we must try.
    I liken the “listening to God” encouragement part of the article as it relates to our society. We really don’t have quiet anymore and we live in a culture today that always wants to be heard – not listen. Even as Christians, that has affected us negatively and God is trying to “retrain” many of us.

    Amen! 9
  7. Shelley, thank you so much for this article that is especially meaningful to me.I was studying Habakkuk,
    applying it to events of the election.You have confirmed some of what the Lord told me: be silent, turn off the news; stay in His Word to listen to Him instead of others, humble myself and repent.You have explained the “ be silent” part.2:20”But the Lord is in His Holy temple.Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Thank you.I will participate.

    Amen! 9
    1. Yes, Gayle we should be turning OFF the TV and paying attention to the Lord. He has much to tell us….we can’t hear Him when our ears are ringing from today’s headlines! I truly hope this is the beginning of the end of my worldly distraction of daily NEWS. I know God alone is in control of ending all this evil in our world. Yes, He wants us to repent, be silent and speak when He says to speak. I pray my ears are always tuned into Him for hearing and following His guidance.

      I love what Cole has written as well. All true. For the past several months I have enjoyed the quiet of my home especially in the mornings. I have been on the verge of “quitting the news” for awhile, now I realize those days were leading up to such a time as this. The Lord has awakened me to seek Him and listen to Him rather than the world news!

      Amen! 3
  8. In agreement!! 🙌Thank you for this article! I plan to do the “Purim listening to God” as you have instructed. I felt a leading to quit the news for sometime now as I noticed it taking the place of precious time. This was definitely an article directed to me. I appreciate your obedience in speaking(writing) it. Praise God for placing it on your heart! May He receive all glory and honor!! 🙌🙌

    Amen! 9
  9. Dear God, I humble myself before you. I’ve silenced my self on social media for several months now. I’ve known in my heart that God had this, his timing is everything. Our prayers will be answered in his wayWhat a Glorious God we serve.

    Amen! 8
  10. Thank you for this article, and I read it at the perfect timing, Thursday Feb 25th as I can participate, starting today!

    Also, please consider signing up for a Bible reading shift that is sponsored by IFA.
    Here is the link for February. There are still time slots available. This is the perfect opportunity to read God’s word and put into action the call of this fast – to read God’s word.

    To sign up, please visit this link and read the ‘related documents’ that will explain how to participate in the Bible Read-A-Thon


    Amen! 4
  11. Please read “Come away my Beloved” by Francis J Robert
    She has penned down the very voice of God to His Bride. It is for such a time as this as you hide yourselve in His presence 😍

    Amen! 6
  12. WOW! Repetition is good! Be still and know that I AM GOD. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not
    on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path. Stand still and see the salvation of GOD. Worship HIM, honor HIM, hear HIM, do what HE says and we shall SEE the mighty hand of
    GOD moving. HE will get ALL the GLORY due HIS wonderful NAME!

    Amen! 22
  13. Psalm 19 especially verse14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Thank you for the article.

    Dear Heavenly Father God, May we by your grace and mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit accomplish this fast. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

    Amen! 23
    1. Thank you for reading. Psalm 19 has a very special meaning for our family..and we were just talking about it again yesterday. Let us know if you do participate and how it goes…if you don’t mind. Have a great day!

      Amen! 2
  14. Thank you for this perspective. I have taken a break from social media for nearly a month and I am eager to read (ponder and think) and pray through your article. I shared with members of our Prayer team as well as my daughter and a cousin.

    Amen! 4
    1. Kathy! Thank you so much for reading and sharing. I am going to pray for you guys (and your team) and hope you will come back and let us know what you hear/read/see/learn. Lots of love and shalom!

      Amen! 4
    1. Nita! Thank you so much for reading and I AM SO HAPPY to hear that it encouraged you today. Let’s listen and do what He says then see what He does! That’s the pattern all through scripture right? Listen. Do. Watch and see! Please let me know what you hear back…we think that is so important.

      Life is a group project…as we all share we will strengthen, receive confirmations and feel stronger in our faith!

      Amen! 3
  15. Shelley – thank you for this timely word, challenge, and invitation to The Body! Fahter we agree – it’s not by might, not by power, but by YOUR SPIRIT. Zechariah 4:6. Please give us the grace to BE STILL and know that you are God! You will be exalted among the nations. You iwll be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

    Amen! 13
    1. Karen! I am so glad that this spoke to your heart. 🙂 It is indeed a wiggly time…but we need to be still and listen to His instructions He already gave us…and the ones He will give us through His Spirit. Let us know how it goes during your quiet time. We are so excited to hear back!

      Amen! 3
  16. Shelly, your message is very timely. This morning, I asked the Lord to tell me what He wants of me…later in the morning, in an anxious moment,I heard Him say, “hold on.” How incredibly awesome is our Abba Father. Now, it is up to me to root out “hold on” in His Word to more fully understand. He Hears, He Sees, He is Immanuel. This is the perfect time to “hold our peace!” Amen

    Amen! 13
    1. Susan!!! I am so glad this resonated with you and provided a confirmation. These wonderful people at IFA know exactly how difficult, fearful and anxiety laden this last year has been for me as well…so I know this is a work He is doing because He is wrestling all of that out of me. And if I get back into it, He pins me again. HE is a very good wrestler. 🙂

      So yes – hold on and let’s see what He does. And let’s do our part to be sure we listen to what He has already said in His word, as well as what He is saying to us now. This is a confirmation for me as well so thank you so much for piping up!

      Amen! 10
      1. It was in wrestling that Israel was born! So many messages and comments speak in confirmation to me and I imagine many (most?) as well. We are all in this herculean feat together, let us all wrestle on and to God be the Glory!

        Amen! 3
  17. The day after our election before turning on the news I knew in my spirit as a nation we would either face God’s mercy or God’s judgement. After hearing the results I was disturbed and just sat with the Lord to hear His instructions. He gave me three words, which have been confirmed Stand, Wait and Watch. I was to stand in faith, Wait for those who wait upon the Lord are renewed in strength and to Watch for the Glory of the Lord shall be seen. This is my hope for God’s Church that as we stand in faith, draw near to Him and to His Word we shall witness the glory of the Lord and the Kingdom of God will be revealed in us that the world will know we are His by our LOVE ONE FOR ANOTHER. In all the discourse, and and even hatred for one another, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to seek one thing, LOVE. Love never fails, for this we need His Spirit in us to do a work that may be hard, to loss ones life, that His life may be what a lost world needs to see. As we pursue to hear the voice of God may we hear what the Spirit is speaking to each one individually and corporately. All for His Glory and Honor.

    Amen! 30
    1. My friend Sherri is going to be excited to see your comment. She got the exact same message. I love how He is confirming things. I do think we are hanging in the balance and there is potential for the pow pow but, I am grateful for the shift…which has brought joy and peace and love. So YES…love never fails. We will be identified for it and after we die, that is all that remains. So happy to wrote this comment Toni!!

      Amen! 7
  18. Thank you for this. It’s past time for Christ followers to fall in love with Jesus our first love once again. That is my prayer. To God be the glory. The goal of my prayer is not to reclaim the conveniences we have enjoyed and taken for granted so long. It’s not even to give the opposers what they deserve (for as Jesus prayed, they do not know what they do); but for God to accomplish in me and on earth what He wants to do in order for His glory to be seen and to reign. Then we who love Him and persevere will be honored with Him. That Day is not yet, but it is coming. Suffering is a badge of honor. Do not be afraid to suffer. And do not wear it with vindictiveness. But pity those who are unrepentant and be kind.

    Amen! 24
  19. What a great and glorious day that will be, when the “goats” will see Jesus arriving to take His “sheep” to their eternal homes in heaven. They will, then, understand the cost rejecting Him!

    Amen! 8
    1. Well – God wants all to come to repentance and will hold us accountable so until He does come…let’s all do our jobs to help spread the gospel so that no one has to understand that..or hear the words – I never knew you. 🙂

      Amen! 21
    2. Gunars, Our Father says to you, “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live? And Peter responds with…”the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” Shalom, shalom to you today, tomorrow, and every day He has you doing His Will.

      Ezekiel 18:23
      2 Peter 3:9

      Amen! 10
  20. Very thought- provoking. The Exodus verse about being silent has been one of my life verses these past several years. Thank you for bringing out the distinction between that one and Esther. I’ve struggled with an internal conflict between speaking up and being silent, and I’ve personally muted the voice of social media and news in my life and will never go back. Ecclesiastes 5:7 says, “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.” And Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” I was reminded of the verse in Proverbs, and in searching for it, I found the one in Ecclesiastes. They both seemed relevant.

    Amen! 13
    1. Thanks for reading Anna. I love that verse in Exodus too. Have had to be quiet at times in which it was VERY hard to wait and see the deliverance of the Lord…in situations that were extremely unfair at the time. He was faithful. So we can do both at the same time – take our stand…and be silent. But if we use our mouths this weekend…let’s just praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for us because everything He has done for us is for our good. Even when it feels complicated, sticky, uncomfortable or even awful at the time.

      Amen! 14
    1. YAYYYYYY! Thanks so much Monica! I am so happy. YES…will report back what I learn and would love it if you would come back to this space and report what you learned. I have done this a couple of times and every time it has been simply an amazing to spend my time. It’s hard to stay quiet (especially for me..southern and clearly my blogs are too long HAHA) but what I did find was that even when I tried SO hard to keep quiet at some point….I would just burst out a song.

      He says if we are silent, even the rocks will cry out in praise.

      And as usual, He is right. 🙂

      Amen! 10

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However, please take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline. People online are not necessarily who they say they are or seem to be. Never give out passwords, credit card information, or other private data. Be very wary of disclosing private information to a stranger you meet via prayer messaging. Even apparently innocent information, like the name of your employer, can be used against you by scammers.

When meeting with someone for the first time to gather to pray or establish a prayer group in your local area, please remember to:

Taking these precautions will help make your online experience safer. Any risk in using Intercessors for America’s online web tools to connect with others is assumed by you. Intercessors for America disclaims any liability or responsibility for acts, omissions, or conduct by you or any other party using its online web tools.

For more information about online personal safety, check out these resources:

Statement of Use
All of the content, images, logos and photos appearing on this website are copyrighted and are the property of Intercessors for America. Other images, brands or logos are copyright of their respective owners. Information and images found on the site cannot be reproduced either in print or electronically without express written permission from Intercessors for America.

The IFA or GAP Web Site may contain links to third party web sites such as those posted by members of the Get America Praying website.  These third party web sites are not controlled by IFA. The links to these web sites are provided for convenience. IFA is not responsible and assumes no liability for the contents of any of these web sites, and unless expressly stated does not endorse these web sites or their contents, products, or services. IFA is not responsible for the content of any sponsor’s Web page linked to the IFA web site, and the opinions and views expressed on the sponsor’s Web pages do not necessarily reflect those of IFA. The contents of the sponsor Web pages are not reviewed in any way before they are linked to the IFA web page. Intercessors for America reserves the exclusive right to remove any links, posts or members that it deems necessary for any reason. The intended usage of the website is for the facilitation of prayer groups.  Requests for donations other than for the owner of the site, posting of blogs and misuse of site is expressly forbidden.  Inactivity of any group or site for more than 90 days will constitute an automatic removal of the member or group from the site.


Intercessors for America Comments Policy

IFA is a prayerful community of believers interceding for the nation. We want to foster a community of commenters that reflects our values: Prayerful, Truthful, Generous, Hopeful, and Relational.

Comments are welcomed and encouraged on this site, but there are some instances where comments should be reported.

• Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic.
• Comments including profanity or vulgarity will be deleted.
• Comments that condone, encourage, or incite violence of any kind, for any reason, will not be tolerated.
• Comments containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive should be reported and will be removed. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading, or libelous language.
• Comments that attack an individual directly should be reported.
• Comments that harass other posters should be reported. Please be respectful toward other contributors.

IFA reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to the blog without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at any time. If you have any questions about the commenting policy, please let us know at

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