Last night, my family and I attended several Missouri Primary watch parties…but none as electrified as that of now Senatorial Candidate Todd Akin.
As each updated poll result hit the big screen, the crowd cheered with greater enthusiasm as each precinct reported in. What really caught my eye though, was as I canvassed the room, I noticed no less than 30 men and women sitting quietly among the perimeter of the at-capacity ballroom. It was not that they were not excited by the unfolding developments in the hottest contested race in the State, nor were they socially awkward and not wanting to chat with other attendees…they had quietly surrounded the perimeter of the room in intercessory prayer.
Prayer warriors had come to offer up their faith for God’s Provision, Favor, and Grace to form a hedge around this campaign. I joined them.
This was nothing new to me regarding the Akins. I’m not just talking about the campaign, but the way they live their lives out daily.
Several years ago, Todd Akin’s wife, Lulli, reached out to me. She told me that she had been praying and felt the Lord had convicted her to take me in under her wing as a mentor and prayer partner. Admittedly, I was taken aback, as a relative newcomer to Missouri politics. However, what nobody else knew, was that I had been praying for that very type of relationship…never knowing it was Lulli Akin that God had intended. So, the relationship of her as my spiritual mother-figure began.
Be it walking thru the park, lunch, or conversations by phone or text, each conversation was reverent, insightful, and prayerful.
Eventually, Lulli shared with my the story of thecourtship between her and Todd..a story which could easily be taken right out of a biblical romance novel. She talked about their prayerful plight through God’s desire for her husband in politics, and the strength and wisdom she gleaned from The Lord as a mother, and wife of a public figure. It was then that she shared perhaps the most profound statement I had ever heard:
She told me “Todd fears The Lord, not man.”
Wow! It hit me. Not only that, but looking back upon Akin’s voting record, it all made sense.
This is the man who took the 2am phone call from President Bush, telling him that he was sorry, but he had prayed about No Child Left Behind, and could not vote for it. This was Bush’s friend, voting against the First Lady’s pet project. If that doesn’t scream obedience, I don’t know what does.
Though Todd was, by all media accounts, looking as though his decision to vacate his Congressional seat to seek the Senate was facing a career-ending decision, those of us who understand both Todd and God’s divinity dutifully held on to faith by prayer.
Jim Talent has said “God just protects that man”, referring to Akin. Indeed, He protects His chosen.
Suddenly, I was jolted back into realtime last night by an overwhelming roar in the room. A roar so loud, it sent children and grandchildren who had been playing in the lobby running in to see what had happened. That was the moment Todd Akin was declared winner of the Missouri Senate Primary.
Minutes later, Akin’s son, Campaign Manager Perry Akin took the stage, announced the victory, and introduced Todd, joined by his wife, children and grandchildren in an electrifying victory speech.
I have no doubt that Akin, an engineer who genetically is more wired as a Senator than the successful Congressman he has been, will be guided and protected by God throughout his bid for the Missouri Senate, and his work there, once elected. I will join the Akins, and Christians everyday in praying over Akin, his family, his campaign, and his decisions…that God would continue to protect him.
Akin has made many decisions that enraged the Establishment GOP, yet he prevailed last night. He overcame a three-way race despite facing a massive war-chest and string of last-minute big-ticket endorsements by his opponents. That, no doubt, is Divine Intervention.
I will say it, so it sinks in: Todd fears The Lord, not man. And The Lord will honor that, always. I have no doubt he will carry this through his Senatorial career. It’s who he is.