How to pray before bible study

Bible Study is no ordinary study. It is a time to learn God’s Word and go deep into the profound meaning and nuances of the words that Almighty God gave to human beings. Imagine that!  You can study the Bible, and even the same stories and verses over and over again, and it will shine a different level of understanding each time. 

Therefore, we should go into Bible study with a prepared and attentive heart. Whether you are studying alone with Bible study materials, with a teacher or friend, or in a small group, here is the prayer to set the tone and cultivate the field of your heart to absorb the wisdom and grace: 

Dear God, 

Thank you for this time of Bible study (with_______). We distinguish this time as a holy hour, and wish to meet you deeply. 

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law”. (Psalm 119:18.)

As I open the precious pages of Scripture, I plead for understanding and wisdom in our study.  Only the Word of God can transform us from the inside out and only by heeding to it can I keep my heart and life pure.  Let grace and understanding fill our soul and overflow into our words and actions.

Quiet my soul to hear what you want to say to me.  As Ecclesiastes 5:2 says,  Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few, may I have a humble posture to seek heavenly truth rather than being quick to come to conclusions or speaking my own thoughts, lest I be limited to my own understanding. 

Keep the devil away from distracting the study, casting doubt or twisting your precious words or discouraging our hearts in any way. 

Let our spirit absorb this spiritual bread and be nourished deeply.  Lord bless this time of Bible study. 

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

By BiblePortal Staff

how to pray before bible study

Welcome to Five Minute Devotionals!  A time to grab your coffee (or tea) and sit for five minutes, read Scripture, and spend a few minutes in prayer! I’ve made it easy for you this morning. Simply jot down the questions below in your journal, or print off the attached PDF of today’s devotional to do in your free time today. If you are on the go, look up the references in the SheReadsTruth App or Bible App on your phone.

It is about our daily life in the Word. Jesus is ready to meet us here. If you have five minutes to scroll through Facebook, you have five minutes to spend in the Word!

Dear Lord, I pray you will guide our minds and hearts for even the next few minutes. Draw us close to You. As we open your Word, let the Holy Spirit guide us to truth. Amen.

Let’s talk about……

Prayer and Bible study. 

We call know prayer and Bible study should go together, but how often do we just use prayer as the Opener and Closer of our Bible study time? Did you know prayer should be the FUEL to POWER THROUGH our Bible study? It is time we start praying BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER our Bible study. We know through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit we have amazing access to God through prayer.

We pray for our days, weeks, and lives, but do we pray for our eyes to be opened to the truths of Scripture? Praying for our physical health and the health of our friends and family is common, but what about praying for your spiritual health? Do you pray for your Bible study time to be productive? Our time in prayer is often spent asking the Lord God to work in marvelous ways (and He does call us to do this: _ ). What about working a mighty work in our lives through praise and thanksgiving?

How much time is spent during your Bible study time in prayer? 

Before this month, I was the person who prayed before beginning my study. I used a general notebook, from Rooted Ink. Although I did praise God, list requests and answered prayers, I hardly asked prayer for my Bible study time. I might say something quick in my head before starting…..Dear Father, help me understand…Amen.

As far as specific prayers FOR my Bible study, I just felt like I was stumbling around. So for today, I’ve listed FIVE prayers I have begun to pray over my Bible study and devotional time. These prayers have Scripture associated with them. I encourage you to look up each passage as well.

1. Dear God, I praise your word. I give you honor and glory for all you have written. With words you created all of heaven and earth. How awesome, perfect, and wonderful are all of your ways. Above all, you are seated on your throne, to reign in steadfast love and mercy. (Psalm 8 & 9)

2. O God, I give you thanks for the good gift of your word. Let my heart and mind be still in thanksgiving for this amazing gift. Every good gift, including your word, is a gift to me. I thank you for the wisdom you provide. I give you thanks for your love and mercy towards me. Amen. (Psalm 136)

3. Lord, please open my eyes to the truth of your word. I pray for wisdom as I prepare to read your word, clarity for while I read, and discernment as I apply your word to my heart. Let your word change my actions. I pray the truth I find here will transform my heart and mind to follow more after you. Amen.  (James 1:5, 22-25)

4. Dear Heavenly, use your word to convict and correct. Show me in your word how I am falling short. Search my heart. Cleanse me from my sin. Wash me clean with the truth of your Word. Set me on the right path again. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24)

5. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holy is your word. Perfect are your ways. Let me be blessed by your word today as I mediate on your precepts. Your promises are true. Your word is faithful. Let me walk in the path of your word today. I pray the words of my mouth come from YOUR truth.. Let my thoughts be governed by YOUR commandments. Please bless this day as I seek to dwell in your word today. Amen. (Psalm 119)

I’ve shared with you five prayers you can pray over your Bible study! Now, print off today’s devotional so you can put into practice praying over your Bible study. I’ve included a short passage to read, meditate, and asked a few questions. However, really spend the majority of your time in prayer.

how to pray before bible study

You can also just download a copy of the prayers here. Download just the 5 Prayers to Pray Over Bible Study and use them everyday.

how to pray before bible study

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Our faith in Christ is an amazing source of strength for our weary hearts. If you struggle with hope and finding peace for your daily life, let me encourage you to download my FREE e-book: Because of Faith. In it you will find encouragement to discover all we have in Christ! Download your own copy {{FREE}} here.

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In this Article:Article SummaryGeneral ApproachStudying TechniquesStudying with OthersSample Study PlanCommunity Q&A

It is important to thoroughly read the Bible, but simply reading the Bible is not the same as studying. The Divine Word of God deserves respect and ought to be understood and practiced. The Bible is one of the most misinterpreted books ever written, and most people can find it very hard to understand. The Bible records a long time of history including many cultures and ages, as well as relating and correlating to any modern era; it is translated from the original manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic by reputable scholars. The goal in studying the Bible is to understand the message in the correct context. If you struggle with where to start with your Bible reading, how often to read your Bible, how much to read in one sitting, or how to get things out of it (apply it to your life/practice it), this article can help.

Method 1 General Approach

  1. how to pray before bible study

    Plan your study. Set aside a time and place to study. Develop a plan of what you want to read each day in a calendar. Having a plan excites you to discover what you learn from God’s Word for that day; it will also keep you organized, keeping track of what passages you have covered and what lessons you have learnt from each.

  2. how to pray before bible study Get a good study Bible. Choose a translation

    to use during your study. You should select from translations as opposed to simple paraphrases, as this makes sure you are reading the originally translated text not a commentator’s interpretation.

    • Avoid bibles that have been translated from Latin, rather than the original Greek and Hebrew. These, like a game of telephone, can get incorrectly translated.
    • Always ensure your understanding of a passage you have read fits with the entire doctrine of the Bible (which is God’s Redemption Plan of Salvation, 2 John 1:7-10); any revelation you get that does not fit the doctrine of Jesus alone must be cast away. Also you must look at years of Church history to compare your findings with history. If you discover something that everyone in Church history disagrees with, you are most certainly wrong (heretics don’t proceed with caution- they go ahead thinking they are the new prophet in town!) To be thus a good student of the Word, you should research: the Puritan Hard drive is a good place to start as well as Ligonier Ministries and Wretched radio (it has links to great Biblical Christian sites and Church History). Be careful not to be arrogant in the course of studying. Its so easy to boast of your findings rather than prayerfully meditate on them. Studying extensively is good, you should know what the foundations of the faith are but make sure your ability to recall names of people throughout Church history does not exceed your ability to remember the Scriptures Word for Word! (Food for thought, Joshua 1:7-9) Remember even those who are illiterates can have a deeper understanding of the Word and deeper relationship with God than you do because they meditate on it. Simply knowing names and things is not good enough. You must practice and preach what you practice.
    • Good formal equivalence translations include the New Revised Standard Version or the English Standard Version. Good combination translations include Today’s New International Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. A good dynamic equivalence translation is the Contemporary English Version, although strictly dynamic equivalence translations are usually frowned on by serious scholars.
  3. how to pray before bible study

    Study the Bible with an attitude of prayer. This should be the first step in understanding the Bible. Bible study should be approached with a prayerful desire to learn. Discipline yourself to be with the Word. The Bible will come alive for you. It is spiritual food.

  4. how to pray before bible study Pray.

    Ask God to help you understand his word before you even begin (In Ephesians 1:16-23 there is a prayer for Wisdom and Revelation that Paul prayed for the Church that you can also pray for yourself. In Ephesians 3:14-21 there is a prayer for Spiritual Maturity that Paul prayed for the Church, and that you can pray for yourself). God will reveal His Word to you. Don’t assume a parable or story just because it seems vague. Don’t try to interpret the Bible. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

    (2 Peter 1:20,21) That’s where misunderstandings come from.

  5. how to pray before bible study

    Focus on the New Testament first. Though the New Testament compliments the Old, and the Old compliments the New, it is better to read the New Testament first if you are a novice. The Old Testament will make better sense if you read the New Testament first.

  6. how to pray before bible study Consider reading John first.

    It’s best to start with John, as it’s the easiest Gospel to read, identifies who Jesus really is, and prepares you for the other 3. It would help to read it 2 or 3 times to get a good understanding of the author, topic, context, and characters. Read 3 chapters per day. Concentrate on your reading. and be patient.

    • When you’re done with John, move on to Mark, Matthew, and Luke. As those tend to be the next easiest material. Read all the books -one after the other- until you have read all the Gospels.
    • When you’re done with the Gospels, consider reading the letters from Romans to Jude. Because Revelation is pure prophecy not covered in the New Testament, stay out of there for now. When you get a good familiarity with the major prophets, then tackle Revelation.
  7. how to pray before bible study

    Pick out topics to study. A topical study is very different than a book study or a chapter study. The subject index of most Bibles have specific areas of study. Once you have found an interesting topic, you begin by doing a rough read through of the verses. This will give you a general oversight of what the verses have to say. For example: salvation, obedience, sin, etc. Remember: reading a chapter several times will help you find things that you might have missed or skipped over before.

Method 2 Studying Techniques

  1. how to pray before bible study

    Use the dictionary. Make sure that you look up words in the chapter that you are reading from. This will help you understand the Bible better.

  2. how to pray before bible study

    Have a Bible notebook. This will keep you accountable to reading everyday. Also, ask yourself questions and write them down in your Bible notebook. Use the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how” formula for your studies. For instance, “Who was there?”, “What was happening?”, “Where is this happening?”, “How did it turn out?”. This simple formula will make the story make sense.

  3. how to pray before bible study

    Highlight important stuff or things you really like in your own bible. But don’t do this if it belongs to someone else.

  4. how to pray before bible study Use cross references and footnotes if you have them in your Bible.

    These are little numbers and symbols which tell you to look somewhere else in the text for more information, or show you when something was previously discussed. Footnotes, usually found at the bottom of a given page, will tell you where information is coming from or explain complex ideas or historical events and concepts.

    • Try picking out a few words that jumped at you and looking them up in a concordance to find other verses talking about the same thing.
  5. how to pray before bible study

    Follow the references in your Study Bible back to the first time it was used. This is where a chain reference Bible is essential.

  6. how to pray before bible study

    Keep a journal. You don’t have to write a lot. Just use a notebook page with the date, book / chapter / verse on the top. Ask yourself some questions and outline what you are reading. This helps to show you what God is revealing to you through His Word. Write out ideas or verses or thoughts that come into mind as you read. Think “Who, What, When, Where, Why, How.” Answer every possible question under each category. Compare your findings with what you know the Bible teaches. Then look them over and pray about it.

  7. how to pray before bible study Get rid of all distractions.

    Turn off the television or radio. Unless you’re studying

    with a group

    , try to to find a quiet place where you have a table to read and take notes. This is alone time between you and God.

Method 3 Studying with Others

  1. how to pray before bible study

    Find a Bible study group. Find a group of people that you can study with. The text is very complicated and having some help to get through it will be very important. They will also help keep you motivated and inspired.

  2. how to pray before bible study

    Share what you have found with others within your Bible study group. Discuss what you have read with others who may have more experience reading and studying the Bible than you do.

  3. how to pray before bible study Don’t take what someone else says about the topic, except as a guide.

    Let the Bible inspire you. Increasing your knowledge about Biblical Principles will only come after years of dedication, hard work, and just plain reading.

    • The Bible is not just one book from Genesis to Revelation. There are 66 books, each from different authors at different times. Several authors have written more than one book, but they were written at different times for different reasons. You will find similar subjects and meanings throughout all the books of the Bible.

Method 4 Sample Study Plan

  1. how to pray before bible study

    Decide your order. You can certainly read the New Testament in order if that suits you, but there are some plans that read the books out of order for a purpose. One is described in the following steps.

  2. how to pray before bible study Start with the Gospels.

    Each Gospel paints a different picture of Jesus. Matthew shows Jesus as King; Mark shows Jesus as Rabbi (Many scholars believe that Mark is Peter’s son. (1 Peter 5: 12 & 13) Further study shows that this Mark is actually the missionary that worked with Paul 2 Tim 4:11); Luke shows Jesus as man (Luke was a physician, probably a Greek, from Asia Minor (Col 4:14); and John shows Jesus as God, that is, the Messiah.

    • Read John again for continuity. This will give you a more complete picture of the Gospels. John was the last Gospel written. Matthew through Luke are known as the “Synoptic Gospels” because they tell the same basic story, bringing in their own points as directed. John fills in the gaps of what the others leave out. It’s a book that completes the story of the Gospels.
  3. how to pray before bible study

    Read Acts next. Acts, also known as “The Acts of the Apostles” was written by Luke, and is a picture of the revelation and development of the early church.

  4. how to pray before bible study Read Galatians through Philemon.

    These 6 shorter letters are personal letters from Paul to 3 of the churches he had visited, and to 3 of his friends, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

    • Read The Epistle to the Romans. This shows the means, and the path to Salvation, then the Epistles to the Corinthians. This is the introduction to the Holy Spirit, and develops His doctrine and Gifts, followed by Hebrews through Jude. The teachings of the early church elders.
    • Unless you have been a Christian for some time, and you have a good grounding in prophecy, leave Revelation for the more serious students in their study times.
  5. how to pray before bible study Move on to the Old Testament.

    The Old Testament is compiled in the order for convenience, not chronology. You can read it by groups to make things easier. There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament. If you read 3 per day, you will have read it in 10 months.

    • Read Genesis. This is the creation and the early relationship with God.
    • Move on to Exodus through Deuteronomy. This is the Law.
    • Read the history books. Joshua through Esther.
    • Following the history section, read the books of wisdom and poetry.
      • Job, often said to be the oldest book, shows how one man’s relationship with God and man went, and is full of lessons on how it could have gone better. It’s a great lesson on what God expects of man.
      • The Psalms is the writings of a king of Israel who was a man after God’s own heart despite the fact that he was not only a sinner, but a convicted killer.
      • The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs, was written by King Solomon in his youth. It was a work of poetry by a young man in love. King Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest man in the world.
      • Proverbs was King Solomon’s writings as an adult when he was King of Israel, and was learning his hard lessons.
      • Ecclesiastes was King Solomon’s lamentations of a man who had spent his life on riotous living, many wives, concubines, wine, women and song. Ecclesiastes is the book of lessons of what not to do.
    • Following the books of wisdom and poetry, get started in the 5 major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, & Daniel.
    • Move on to the 12 minor prophets to finish the Old Testament.

0 / 0

The Bible is chronological and may get confusing if read in the wrong order.

Not quite! While it is important to have a study schedule, the reading schedule does not have to be chronological. In fact, most readers find it easier to read and understand if they do not read it chronologically! There’s a better option out there!

Some books of the Bible fit well together.

Yes! Reading some sections of the Bible together will make it easier to understand. For example, the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) all focus on the life of Jesus. Read on for another quiz question.

If you take a long break, it will be difficult to return to reading.

Not necessarily! While this might be true for some people, it is not the case for everyone. A study schedule will help you decide which books of the Bible to read when, not just how often to read. Try another answer…

It will help you get done on time.

Not exactly! If timing is important to you, this may be the case, but don’t try to rush through your Bible reading! Make an acheivable schedule that allows you plenty of time to reflect on your reading and really understand the Word. Guess again!

Community Q&A

Add New Question

  • Question

    I am a very busy person, but I really want to study God’s word. I schedule my study time late at night, but I always fall asleep. What can I do?

    Katie Arledge Rutan

    Community Answer

    If you are always falling asleep because you are too tired, maybe try studying first thing in the morning. Try going to sleep earlier and then waking up earlier and doing your study during or before breakfast. It can be hard at the end of the day to squeeze God in, but it’s easy and you’ll never forget if you make it a habit in the morning.

  • Question

    How do I know God has answered my prayers?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Sometimes God gives you what you’ve asked for immediately. Sometimes, he says to wait and be patient, and that what you’ve asked for will come later when it is the right time. Sometimes, what you’ve asked for isn’t in God’s perfect plan for you. He always answers, but not always in the way you expect.

  • Question

    What are Bible search engines?

    They are apps or websites where you can search for a specific verse in the Bible. These can be a quite helpful tool!

  • Question

    How do I feed the Word of God in the spirit?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    By praying the living Word of God and praying in the power of the Holy Spirit. We walk by Faith so build yourself up in your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit.

  • Question

    If I’ve heard all the Gospels before, is it okay if I start in my favorite book, Philippians?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    You can start wherever you like, but just keep in mind that every time you read a passage, God will increase your understanding and reveal new truths. You may have heard the Gospels before, but you don’t know all the truth they contain.

  • Question

    How do I ask God for healing of my wife, who is in critical condition?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Pray to him and tell him whatever is on your heart. Just make yourself open to him.

  • Question

    Right before I broke up with my boyfriend, I became abstinent because I knew fornication is a sin. Soon after I broke up with my boyfriend because he seemed distant once I made that decision. What happened?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Your boyfriend was in lust with you. Many people mistake lust (desire for premarital/extramarital sex) for love. You did what is right in God’s sight. Pray for a man who is a believer and will follow God and think with the head on his shoulders. Looks fade; people’s flaws show when you get to know them; but a heart for Jesus will keep a spouse attractive and cover those flaws with love.

  • Question

    Where should I start reading the Bible, being a new Christian?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    You should start reading the Gospel as it tells the story of Jesus. Alternatively, you could just start at the beginning and read the Bible from cover to cover. Not many people do this.

  • Question

    My husband has never been there for me, he is with his mother all the time. He gave up his job for his mother. Can I leave him for good?


    Community Answer

    The Bible tells us that we can only divorce if there is sexual immorality involved. Sit down with your husband and explain to him kindly how you feel and ask him how he feels. Remember, all things work together for good to those who love God, so no matter what happens, God will use it for the good of His kingdom.

  • Question

    How do I read 150 verses in two days?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Pace yourself. Split the passages up, or read 75 the first day and the remaining 75 the next day.

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  • At first it can seem daunting to read everyday. But when you are in the Word, it clears your mind and prepares you for the day. Reading the Bible is a necessary part of this. Don’t give up. If you feel discouraged, ask the Lord for help.
  • Pray before you start any Bible study or reading. Ask God to clear your mind and to show you things in His word before you begin reading. There is a prayer for wisdom and revelation in Ephesians 1:16-23 and you can say this prayer for yourself.
  • Make a promise to yourself. Get up a little earlier in the morning for your reading. The deal is: “No Bible, No Breakfast, No Exceptions.” King David studied the word in the morning and at night (Psalms 1:2).
  • When you begin your study of your Bible ask the Holy Spirit for help. John 14:26 says that He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance the sayings of Jesus. I John 2:27 is similar.
  • There are 261 chapters in the New Testament. If you read 3 chapters per day, you will be completed with your New Testament reading in about 90 days. If all you wanted to do is read the whole Bible through, you could read 3 chapters from the New Testament in the morning and 4 chapters from the Old Testament in the evening, you would be through with the New Testament in 87 days. You would have 668 Old Testament chapters left. If you read 3 in the morning and 4 in the evening until completion you would have read the whole Bible through in about 6 months. However, it is much more beneficial to read 3 chapters per day. Don’t worry about how long it takes to read it through.
  • There are enough reference books and study guides to fill a library. Don’t feel you need to get them all. It would run into the thousands of dollars. Get what works for your needs. There is a long list below. Don’t get overwhelmed.
  • Research the version or translation you are going to study with. Is it accurate? Is it just a modern readable version, or is it intended for study?
  • The reason for reading the Gospels out of order is that each identifies Jesus in a different way. John = God; Mark = Servant; Matthew =King; Luke = Man. Also, you don’t want to get bogged down in the genealogies in Matthew and Luke right off the bat. Each has a different purpose, and familiarity is helpful
  • As a means of keeping up with daily reading, you can use a One Year Bible. It’s not for study, but you will go through the Bible in a year which will give you more familiarity with each book as you study it.
  • After you get through the Bible at least once, with the help of a good teacher, read a good layman’s guide of hermeneutics and apologetics. They will help you know what questions to ask as you read and study.
  • Studying with friends or family can really help you appreciate and understand the Bible more.


  • Don’t read what every Bible expert says about a topic. You will get conflicting opinions and this will cause you to become confused and give up. Be like the Bereans, and judge everything you hear in the scripture by asking pointed questions and trying the proofs (Acts 17:11). Let the Bible speak for itself. The author (God) will both reveal and inspire you.
  • The Bible was not written in English but in Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek. This means that some words and concepts are not direct one-to-one translations but are the translators attempt to express the feeling & meaning of the passage. Some were translated literally, and some functionally. Read with a broad mind, pray, speak with others, and take the time to try to understand what the original writers’ views were.
  • Sometimes a fact of science or your common sense will seem to rebuke the Bible. If this occurs, be careful not to jump to conclusions; remember that your interpretation of the Bible will never be perfect. That’s why you should never interpret the Bible (2 Pet 1:20,21). Find the passage that bothers you and study its context and tone. Usually, it will be your own understanding of the words that is at fault, so try to find an alternate meaning that both satisfies your doubts and agrees with the rest of your studies. If you are still unsure, go ask a friend who knows the Bible very well to explain it to you. If you never are satisfied, just know that whatever conclusion you come to must agree with the rest of the Bible. The part that is unclear will prove itself elsewhere in the Bible.

Things You’ll Need

  • A good study guide

  • King James or other accurate Bible. Three other great translations that stick closely to the original text are the New International Version (used by academics, considered the most accurate translation), New American Standard Bible (NASB), Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), and the New King James Version (NKJV).

  • A journal or notebook

  • A Concordance – a book that lists the words in the Bible and will give you their basic meanings and root meanings as well as other places the words are used. Either Strong’s Exhaustive or Young’s Analytical Concordance would be a good choice. Strong’s Lexicon to help you look up Hebrew or Greek word definitions in their original languages. This is available online at the

    Blue Letter Bible

    website. This website also has numerous commentaries, lessons, audio and visual lectures and overviews.

  • Highlighter (optional)

  • A Topical Bible.(Nave’s)

  • A Bible Handbook.(Unger’s, or Halley’s)

  • A Bible Dictionary.(Nave’s)

  • A Bible Commentary.(Matthew Henry’s)

Article SummaryX

To study the Bible, choose a translation that uses Greek or Hebrew as the source language, as this will be closer to the original text. Also focus on the New Testament first as the Old Testament will make more sense if read second. Furthermore, consider starting with John, as it’s the easiest Gospel and prepares you for the other Gospels. After studying John, move on to Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Once you finish the Gospels, read the letters from Romans and Jude. When you are familiar with with the major prophets, then tackle Revelation.

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