Here's Part 3 of Charisma Magazine's cover story on Sarah Palin in the January 2009 issue. The article is written by Julian Lukins.
A Modern-Day Esther?
Palin's sudden appearance on the national stage during the campaign excited many evangelicals who viewed her as a present-day Esther—hand-picked by God for "such a time as this." The comparison between Palin and Esther—the Old Testament queen chosen by God to save the Jews from genocide—was made by several church leaders interviewed by Charisma.
Prophetic minister Barbara Yoder, senior pastor of Shekinah Christian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says: "I believe this is a time of incredible breakthrough for women. I am simple enough to believe that we don't know everything about the way God moves and that [Palin] just might be an Esther."
Mark Arnold, a Charismatic pastor in Hamilton, Ohio, would have to agree. In fact, he felt the Holy Spirit had given him a message for Palin about being an Esther, but he had no idea how he would deliver it. His opportunity came at a McCain-Palin campaign stop in Ohio last September. Incredibly, Arnold found himself just feet away from Palin and McCain at the podium after being asked to escort a group of Boy Scouts to the front—even though he was not a Boy Scout leader.
What happened next was remarkable. "[Palin] was on her knees, hugging a lady who had lost her son in Iraq," Arnold told Charisma. "She spun around, looking right at me, and I told her: 'God wants me to tell you that you are a present-day Esther.' She began to cry and shake my hand in an affirming way. She said, 'Yes, I receive that. ... Please keep praying for me,'" says 47-year-old Arnold.
Barbara Wentroble, founder of International Breakthrough Ministries, describes Palin as "a picture of what God is doing with Christian women" as He calls them to positions of influence. "We need Christian women to make a bold stand for righteousness," she says.
Others point to Palin as a woman of prayer.
Mary Glazier heads an Alaska-based prayer ministry called Windwalkers International. Charisma caught up with her on her way to a prayer meeting in Anchorage, the purpose of which was to pray specifically for Palin. This is nothing new, according to Glazier. "We actually began to pray for [Palin] before she became mayor of Wasilla," Glazier says. "We felt then that she was the one God had selected."
For several years, Glazier and other members of Windwalkers have prayed for Palin regularly—first when she was the mayor, then when she was the governor of Alaska, and when she was a vice presidential candidate. Last spring, Palin called Glazier and asked her to pray with her over the phone, and they met at the governor's prayer breakfast.
"She asked me to pray with her for wisdom and direction," Glazier recalls. "I sensed a real heart of surrender to the will of God in her. God often chooses the least likely people to be at the forefront, and I do believe that God has equipped [Palin] for this hour."
Glazier told Charisma that members of Windwalkers had received words of knowledge about Palin being "called to impact the nation." At that point, they had no idea she would be running for the office of vice president of the United States.
Palin's public prayer life in the Pentecostal arena caused a stir when a video surfaced that showed her being prayed over by a Kenyan bishop. In the video, Bishop Thomas Muthee is seen laying hands on Palin in 2004 and asking God to protect her from "every form of witchcraft." Liberal commentators and bloggers described the video as "terrifying" and claimed it made Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's controversial ex-pastor, appear "pretty mainstream" in comparison.
The episode reinforced the fact that Palin's faith, and Pentecostalism especially, is at best misunderstood and at worst deliberately ridiculed by a large segment of the media.
Part 4 tomorrow ...