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Mercy for Healing

There are certain words that we use in the church that have become watered down.  We use them a lot without really understanding their Biblical significance.

As we continue through the Gospel of Mark, we will talk about one of these words – mercy.

Then they came to Jericho.  As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Mark 10:46-48

The first thing I see in this passage is that this man believed something about Jesus.  His faith was so strong that a crowd of people couldn’t turn him from his course.

We need to know the whole story.  There’s a reason why we’re told that he was the son of Timaeus.  The Hebrew word, timaeus, means to be spiritually unclean or defiled.  He had carried the stigma of this his entire life.

The crowd looked at him and saw the son of a defiled, worthless father.  They couldn’t see any reason that Jesus would bother with someone like him.

What made the difference was that Bart knew the truth about the Lord.  It’s manifest in the words that he shouted.

“Jesus, Son of David.”  That was the title he used in calling the Lord.  That was a Messianic title.  It means that Bart was trusting Christ as the Messiah and Savior of Israel.  He was coming to Jesus because of who He was, and not just because he wanted a healing.

This blind man had been praying and meditating on the words of Christ.  How do I know this?  Even the disciples of the Lord only knew He was Messiah because of a revelation from God (Matthew 16:15-17).  So, in spite of his blindness, this man was spiritually sensitive.

“Have mercy on me!”  This is the key to the whole passage.  He wanted to be healed, yet asked for mercy.  Our generation has no concept of what this word means in the Bible.

Mercy is the favor God shows to His obedient sons and daughters.  It’s the privilege of sonship.  For a more detailed teaching on mercy, click here.

What this shows me is that Bart did not choose to identify with his earthly, unclean, father.  Instead, he found his place as a son of Abraham.  Thus, he had the right to call upon the Messiah as his Lord and Healer.  The Lord responded to his cry.

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet!  He’s calling you.”  Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:49-52

This is very applicable to us in our generation.  How do we approach God?  Do we come to Him based upon our need?

We should come to Christ on the basis of who He is.  Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, etc.  We should also see ourselves correctly – as a child of God – holy and righteous in His sight.  This makes all the difference.

Question: How does your view of Jesus and yourself affect your ability to receive from God?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Faith, Healing, Sonship

 

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Born into Freedom

In my last post, I talked about Paul’s illustration using Abraham’s two sons.  We saw that Ishmael, born into slavery, was Paul’s example of viewing the Law as our covenant.  He’s adamant that we were saved into freedom.

But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.  For it is written: “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”
Galatians 4:26-27

Paul explains to us that our spiritual mother, the one that birthed us into God’s family, is the Jerusalem from above.  We also know it as the New Jerusalem that Christ is preparing for us.  But how can a city be our mother?  To answer that, we need to look way ahead to the book of Revelation.

This is what the Apostle John describes as taking place after the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Revelation 21:1-2

He talks about the New Jerusalem as the bride of Christ.  It should be obvious that Jesus isn’t marrying a city.  It’s the inhabitants of that city who are the bride of Christ.

In the same way, Paul is not talking about the physical city being our mother.  The Jerusalem that is above is referring to the bride.  We were brought into the family of God by those who were fulfilling their calling.

A member of the bride of Christ spoke the Word of God to us.  When we heard this Good News, faith was birthed in our hearts.  We then responded by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  In that sense, the New Jerusalem is our mother.

Because we were birthed through faith in the Word, we are born into the freedom of Christ.

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Galatians 4:28-29

When we accepted Christ we were born by the Spirit of God into the promise.  What promise?  The same promise that Isaac was born into.

Now that the addendum of the Law has been fulfilled by Christ, we are under the renewed covenant of Abraham.  We are now entitled to all the blessings that were promised to his family.  If you don’t believe it, then let me remind you of what Paul already told the Galatian church just a few paragraphs before this.

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:29

Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you’re still obligated to follow the Law.  My blessings are not contingent upon my performance.  They’re based on God’s love for me and my family relationship with Him.

Having said that, we understand that we’re in a covenant relationship with Christ.  Therefore, I want to spend quality time with Him through the Holy Spirit.  I want to know Him in a deeper way.  I want the Spirit to make me more and more like the Lord.  In this way, I can experience all the blessings that Christ purchased for me.

Question: Why do some people seem to be so attracted to the Law?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2017 in Faith, Legalism, Sonship, Spiritual Walk

 

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A New Reality

ButterflyIn my last post I started talking about what happens when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It all started with a simple prayer and our trust in Him.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

In that moment when you accepted the work of Christ, a supernatural, miraculous work took place in you. In my last post I said that all of us were born onto a path that led to death. There were no exits and no way for us to turn around.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

But when you received the life-changing work of Christ, something you had no access to was suddenly opened up to you. There’s a second path; one that leads directly to life.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
John 5:24

In the Spirit, the Lord picked you up from the path leading to death and He placed your feet firmly on the path leading to life. It’s just like a computer game that my children used to play years ago. It was called Rollercoaster Tycoon.

In that game they would build an amusement park with rides that the virtual gusts would be excited about. But as my children watched the people in the park, it became clear that there were sections of it that nobody went to. In order to remedy the situation, the game had a claw that would pick up a guest at one end of the park, and place them in another section.

That’s what happened to us in the spirit. God picked us up from the path of death and placed us on the path of life.

In Christ, you didn’t just “turn over a new leaf.” You’re not just trying harder. You’re in a whole new reality. You’re in a new place on a new path with a new direction. You’re not the same person you were only a moment ago. Everything has changed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Now we’ve been given a totally new way of life. That’s why the world should see something different in us. We’re no longer headed in the same direction as everybody else.

Question: How is living in God’s Kingdom different than living for the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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How do You View Jesus?

JesusDo you know that how you view your relationship with Christ determines your walk? As I was reading Paul’s introduction in his letter to the Romans, it stood out to me. It made me stop and assess how I view the Lord.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:1-4

There’s so much here that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was that Paul talked about Christ’s human nature as being descended form David. I wondered about that. As a Jew; why not a descendant of Abraham?

I started to look deeper into it and found that this was a big part of Paul’s message.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…
2 Timothy 2:8

The fact that Jesus was in King David’s family was a big part of Paul’s message. It seems to me that Paul placed this on even par with Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The two go hand in hand in the Apostle’s preaching.

This truth is the key to Paul’s attitude toward the Lord. It’s something that we need to return to in our generation. Jesus Christ is King, Lord, and Sovereign. There’s no authority higher than Him in the entire universe.

We like to refer to the Lord in a number of different ways. We call Him Savior, Redeemer, and Friend of sinners. These titles are all true of Christ and speak to us of what He’s done for us. But I refer to them as “safe” titles. They carry with them no inconvenience to us.

Notice how Paul introduces himself in relation to Christ in that first verse. He doesn’t call himself a follower of Christ. He doesn’t say he’s a believer, a minister, or even a disciple. He refers to himself as a servant of Christ Jesus.

This means that above all, Paul’s mission in life was to please his Master. It wasn’t about doing something for the Lord “when he finds the time.” His life was devoted to serving Jesus.

This is the attitude we need to return to in this generation of the church. We need to once again discover the place of servanthood to Christ. Yes, He is our Redeemer, our Savior, our best Friend, and a whole lot more. But we live to please Him.

As we live the life of a servant of Christ, this is one of the fastest ways to receive His power and authority in our lives. We must pick up this attitude – “Lord, not my will, but yours be done in my life.”

Question: What role does servanthood play in your walk with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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A Prophecy for 2015

 

2015I’ve found that the Psalms have lined up with current affairs since the year 1901. Over the past 10 years or so I’ve preached from a Psalm each year and it’s been amazingly accurate. The Psalm for the New Year is Psalm 115.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1

We need to start 2015 on the right footing. It’s all about the Lord’s glory and not ours. Sometimes we miss that in the quest for bigger ministries. Yes, we want the move of God to attract people, but it’s the name of Jesus that should be the goal.

Moving on from here, there’s a bigger issue at stake. I believe that 2015 is the year of the big question. It’s what we should have been asking long before now.

Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Psalm 115:2

Wow! Could there be any other question more appropriate for our present generation of believers? Notice that the question isn’t, “Where is their God?” It’s more a question to us, asking what are we doing that blinds the world to who our God is.

Why is the nation unaware of our God? Why do they believe that God is irrelevant to our lives? That’s the question of the hour.

The next part of the Psalm gives the answer to it all.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:3-8

We’ve forgotten the simple truth that our God is Lord over all. The things that the world runs after can never give life. These things can never help us in our time of need.

Money, entertainment, social media sites, and all the rest are merely distractions keeping us from experiencing the best God has for us. In their right place – under the authority of Christ – they can be beneficial. But when they take time away from our walk with the Holy Spirit, we’re headed for ruin.

We can’t afford to fill our lives with the world’s distractions. It’s time for God’s people to press into the place of intimacy with Him. That’s where the true source of power is found.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord — he is their help and shield.
Psalm 115:5

This year we need to remember where our allegiance should be. The rest of the Psalm is a blessing upon those who are willing to take the time to seek the Lord’s presence. Let 2015 be the year we turn things around. Make it the year that the world sees that truly there is a God who works in and through His church.

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year in Christ!

Question: What are you trust God for in this coming year?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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Quartermaster Ministries News July 2013 #revivalnow

It’s a new day!  God is doing new things with me!

This is the first of monthly newsletters that I’m starting today.  My goal is that it will come out the beginning of each month, on a Tuesday or Thursday.

This is to update everyone on what’s happening in the ministry.  I expect new things to be taking place on a regular basis.

First off…

I have joined the Twitter community!

You can follow me @RevNickZacc.  Hopefully, it will encourage you with short thoughts throughout the day.  Sometimes I’ll retweet things that are encouraging me.  Also, you’ll find that I’m starting to use # in my titles, since they’ll be posted on Twitter as they are released. (They are also posted to Facebook and LinkedIn)

Speaking at Churches

I feel the Holy Spirit pushing me to get out and do more speaking (outside my home church).  I feel a need for the body of Christ to be prepared for the coming revival.  The Lord has blessed me with insight into how we should be getting ready and what to be ready for.  Because of this I have a spiritual pressure in me, that won’t let me keep it to myself.  So as these opportunities open up, I’ll start posting my schedule as to when and where these events will be.

Prayer

As a result of all of this…I ask you to pray.  Pray with me for revival to rock the church in the USA.  Pray for the lost to hear the clear message of hope in Jesus Christ.  Pray for me to faithfully follow the course God has for me.  I’ll pray for you, the followers of this ministry, that you would experience the highest and best God has for you in Christ.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Newsletters

 

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Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness

FlyingAs I was reading the Bible the other day, I came across a Scripture that caught my attention.  It was describing Christ and how He was revealed to the world.  It got me thinking about our relationship to God.

…and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:4

Jesus Christ was shown to be the Son of God.  Not just by someone’s testimony.  It was an act of power by God raising Him from the dead.

That in itself was not news to me.  The part that really spoke to my heart was who did the declaring.  The passage says that it was through the Spirit of holiness that He was shown to be the Son of God.

That’s what I found to be interesting – the Spirit of holiness.  Why did Paul not call Him the Holy Spirit?  Isn’t that the more common term?  Actually, this is the only place in Scripture where He’s called the Spirit of holiness.

Holiness is something that this generation of believers really needs to come to grips with.  It seems that we tend to back away from any mention of holiness.  We find it boring and old fashioned.

This is a subject of great importance in the Bible.  It’s found throughout the New Testament.  We are to be a holy people before God.

Holiness is related to separation.  It means to be set apart for God’s purpose.

It’s like this.  When Christ found us, we were like a dirty, cast off piece of pottery in the trash heap of the world.  When we turned to Him as our Lord and Savior, He rescued us from that place – that’s our salvation.

He then took us as His own and placed us on display in His household.  We are now to be exclusively used for the Lord’s purposes.  That’s holiness.

As we remain in His house, Christ continues to clean us up and restore us.  That’s our sanctification.

By using the term Holy Spirit, we mean the Spirit of God who is set apart from the world and the things of the world.  The phrase Spirit of holiness brings it to a whole other realm.

He’s not only the Spirit who is set apart – but the Spirit who sets us apart.  He is the Spirit of God who makes us holy.  That’s where we try to water down the truth.

We like to think of the Holy Spirit as the power source of the church.  Miracles, healings, signs, and wonders always draw a crowd.  But separation, on the other hand, sounds too much like commitment.

This generation seems to want the power without the holiness.  I believe that it’s time for us to seek the Spirit of holiness.  At the place where we are separated for God’s exclusive use, we will find all the power we need to live victoriously and win the lost.

Question: Have you seen examples of the Holy Spirit setting you apart for His use?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Encouragement, Power of God, Revival

 

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Do You have a “Move On” Attitude?

BootGod is calling His church to a higher level in Christ.  The return of the Lord is very close, yet sometimes the church seems to act like we have all the time in the world.  Are you complacent about where you are spiritually?  Or do you want to see a greater move of God through your life?

At one point in his life, Moses had a similar choice to make.

Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”  So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt.  And he took the staff of God in his hand.
Exodus 4:19-20

Moses had been away from Egypt for a long time.  But in this time of his life, God was calling him to return to his former home.  The difference was that this time he had a mission from God – to set his people free.  Even so, it still required a long wilderness journey.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to start.  The planning and organizing are usually pretty easy.

I enjoy hiking.  There are times that I have spent a few days on the trail.

When morning comes and it’s time to move on, thats when the truth of this is made real.  It’s not that tough to break camp and put things away into your pack.  But when you finally put your pack on, and stand there with your trekking poles in your hand – a subtle transformation occurs.

Suddenly, without warning, the campsite that you’ve called home for the past twelve hours is no longer yours.  Now you’re a part of the trail and looking for a new destination.

We may be very satisfied where our life is right now.  But this isn’t our destiny – the Lord has a greater work He wants to do in us.  When God calls us to a higher level, we can never be satisfied this way again.

Remember that we need to be a people who are packed and ready to go.  This world is not our home and the things of this world will never truly fulfill us.

Sometimes we just need to go before the Lord and reiterate to Him our total commitment to following His path for our lives – no matter where it leads.  We need to thank Him for the destiny that He has prepared for us.  Then, we need to be open and listening for any course changes He may speak to us.

It all depends on our attitude.  Am I satisfied where I’m at, or do I hunger to see what God wants to do in these last days?

Question: Do you desire to move up to a new level in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Return of Christ, Revival, The Church

 

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Excellence – From the “Musts” to the “Oughts”

FlyingHow far into the realm of the excellent are you venturing?  In my last post I looked at a sobering statement that Jesus made to His disciples.

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Luke 17:10

If all you’re doing in your life and ministry are the things you’re supposed to do, then you’re unprofitable in the kingdom of God, according to the Lord.  There are always things that we must do or that we’re expected to do.

The word unworthy is derived from a Greek word that means, not ought.  The thought is that you are not what you ought to be.  To break into the realm of the excellent you must break through the “musts” and enter into the “oughts.”

Those who are not only doing what they have to do, but have found a way to do what they ought to do, are considered to be walking in the excellent.  When a person goes beyond the expected in his or her walk with the Lord we marvel at their spirit of excellence.

What does that mean to me?  I must stop saying, “I ought to have…”, “I ought to do…”, or “I ought to be…” then with the next breath say, “But I have so much I need to do; I can’t.”  When you develop the spirit of excellence, the Holy Spirit is now free to work in you to accomplish what wasn’t expected.

As excellence starts its work in you, you can tap into God’s “excellent power,” His “excellent grace,” and His “excellent love.”  You’ll find out that God has all the resources you need to fulfill the call to excellence that He’s placed inside of you.

In II Corinthians 12:7, Paul talks about being the recipient of excellent revelations.  He would not have received these had he not been walking in excellence.  Galatians 1:13 says that before he was saved, Paul excelled at persecuting the church.

Everyone else was persecuting Christians in the normal way.  Paul, however, went above and beyond the call of duty.  He dragged people out of their homes, and if they tried to move away, he even tracked them to other towns.  Once saved, He carried over this same spirit of excellence into his work for Christ.  That’s why the Holy Spirit entrusted him with all the revelation that he received from the Lord.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
II Corinthians 4:7

The word all-surpassing is the Greek word hyperballoexcellent.  This excellent power does not come from our own strength.  Don’t ever take the credit for the excellence in your ministry.  The glory belongs to God.

Walking in the spirit of excellence is one of the earmarks of the power of God in your life, showing that you hear from God and are obeying His voice.

Question:  What are some of the marks of God’s excellence in your life and ministry?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Church Dinners or Fasting and Prayer

DinnerThere were times in His ministry that Christ taught some things that the crowd didn’t like, mostly because they didn’t understand it.  As a result, a lot of people left Him, even some of His disciples.  These are some of the Lord’s most important teachings.

I want to take a few posts to look at one such section.  Here’s some background to help you understand what’s happening in this passage of Scripture.  Jesus had just miraculously fed 5000 people.

They were all on a hillside listening to Jesus and hadn’t eaten all day.  The disciples found someone with five loaves of bread and two fish.  They took this meager provision to the Lord.  Jesus then broke the fish and bread and fed the whole crowd with what started out as just a little bit.

He then sent the disciples out on a boat to cross the lake and meet Him on the other side.  As they were in the middle of the crossing a huge storm came up and the disciples feared for their very lives.  In the midst of the storm, Jesus comes to them walking on the water and gets them safely to the other side.

Now, on the far end of the lake, the crowd catches up to the Lord on foot.  They were surprised at how fast He got there.  Of course, He went straight across.  He didn’t have to go the long way around!

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”
John 6:25-26

Here we see Jesus going right to the heart of the matter.  “Why do you care where I go and how I get there?  The reason you’re following Me is for what you can get materially.  You only want a free lunch.”

The trouble with the crowd was that they didn’t want to hear and obey His teaching.  Instead, they liked the spread He put on.  They weren’t following Him because He had the words of eternal life.

It’s a sad truth, even in Christian circles today.  If you throw a church dinner everybody comes.  If, on the other hand, you call for a week of special fasting and prayer you get a lot fewer people involved.  It’s easy to see that the desires of the flesh haven’t changed in 2000 years.

Question: Why does it seem so hard to deepen our spiritual walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Encouragement, Prayer

 

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