It's a staple of television series that run out of ideas to do an episode where a magical entity grants some wishes. Always, the wishes backfire because the wish isn't phrased in exactly the right way. (The best of these, of course a Xena episode titled "The Quill Is Mightier," is still pretty lousy.)
This is in way of an introduction to the funny story where Republican fundamentalists prayed that God smite down an unnamed senator to prevent him from making the health care reform vote. They meant for the Almighty to target Sen. Robert Byrd and they meant for God to murder him. Because the prayer was not precise, God picked the most ignorant and incompetent human in the Senate, Jim Inhofe. God, not being they bloodthirsty psychopath that Republican fundamentalists believe in, didn't kill Inhofe He just made Inhofe absent.
By the by, Inhofe's excuse for missing the vote sounds like a lie. The official reason, Inhofe "was absent to fly his wife home to Oklahoma," seems silly as if his wife can't board a plane without an escort. More likely Inhofe was sleeping in with his mistress and couldn't be bothered voting.