Did Palin Actually Say That Iraq is "a Task . . . from God"?

While searching for CNN's story on Troopergate, I came across a surprising statement of Palin's quoted by Anderson Cooper: that the war in Iraq was "a task that is from God":

[Palin] also talked to church members about “being saved” at the Assembly of God and suggested to them that the war in Iraq is a mission from God. Palin said, “our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Wow! CNN caught Palin saying on tape that Iraq was a task from God. Ouch!

But then I listended to the clip. Palin actually said:

“Pray for our military. He's [Palin's son Trask] going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do also what is right for this country – that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true. Is praying for peace throughout the world the same as saying that there is peace throughout the world?

I'm an atheist, but I'm not so old or out of touch that I don't know that Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will. It's not strange for a Christian to hope that what you want to do or think is right is indeed God's will.

When I was growing up, I used to enjoy hearing our local Congressman, John B. Anderson (who ran for president in 1980), preach in the Protestant Church I went to as a child. He was certainly more interesting than our regular pastor. In Chicago, it's common to see news clips of politicians speaking in churches (often African American ones) on the eve of elections, and sometimes those politicians urge that someone vote for a particular candidate.