“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that’s lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7
Think of the shepherd and what he will do for his sheep. The shepherd has one hundred sheep and he realizes one of his sheep have wandered away from the flock. You might think that he would not worry about the one when he still has ninety-nine. But that is not what the shepherd does. He leaves the 99 and searches for the lost sheep. The one who all he had to do was hang out with the flock. I’ve never been around sheep. But I read that they stray easily, they get distracted and then they have a hard time finding their way back. That when the sheep realizes it is lost it will actually bleat for the flock but will end up running in the opposite direction of the sound. The shepherd has to know that if he doesn’t find that sheep that it is in real imminent danger. So the shepherd leaves the 99 and searches for that lost sheep until he finds it. And when he does he rejoices over that lost sheep.
In the same way our Shepherd will seek us out. How many times in my past have I been running away from the flock right into imminent danger. And my Lord continued to seek me out. He continued to put people in front of me. He continued to use the things surrounding me to draw me back to the flock and back to Him. I have been able to look back over my life at the times that I had wandered away from the flock. Even if only in my own mind and heart. I know there have been times when I was present, yet I was not necessarily present in my heart. But I can see how He searched for me and led me back to where my heart needed to be. This same parable in Matthew ends with this verse.
“So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14
One prayer you never ever have to question the will of the Father is the prayer you are praying over a lost sheep. Make no mistake God still gives us freedom to choose but He will continue to seek the lost soul. So if you have that person you have been praying for that is lost. You continue praying that God will continue seeking and He will surely do it. It is not His will to lose even one sheep.