ALASKA - Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin told students at her former church in Alaska that United States troops in Iraq were sent on a "task that is from God", a video showed Wednesday.
Palin, who was due to give an address at the Republican National Convention later Wednesday, made the comments in a speech to ministry students at the Wasilla Assembly of God in June.
Palin, whose eldest son Track is due to be deployed to Iraq later this year, asked students during her speech in June to pray for US troops based there.
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right," Palin said. "Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she said.
"That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
Palin also urged students to pray for a 30-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in the state. "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
Palin's speech surfaced on a video posted on the Wasilla Assembly of God's website before being disseminated across the Internet.
However the church's site had been suspended on Wednesday with a message from administrators saying the site had been unable to cope with the volume of traffic.
"WasillaAG.net was never intended to handle the traffic it has received in the last few days," the message read. "Due to technical limitations, WasillaAG.net will be unavailable for the immediate future."
A statement on the site's home-page said Alaska governor Palin had been part of the church until 2002, describing the 44-year-old mother-of-five as a "woman of integrity, a strong leader."