By Jo Witt
Copyright 2015

Sometimes we fail to realize that each and every individual person is special and known by God. Sometimes we feel like we need to be in church, with other believers, or joined in prayer with many in order for God to hear us or to answer us. Yet, there are many and various scriptures that serve as reminders that there is power in just ONE - that God knows each individual, cares, and answers. Each person matters and is a special creation of God.

The initial relationship of God with an individual is in that individual's creation. Isaiah 43:7 says, "I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." Isaiah 49:1-26 says, "The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name." And Isaiah 43:7 says, "Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

Not only did God create us individually, but the Bible tell us God knows our name. This is significant - to know a person's name is an indication of a level of caring. In Isaiah 43:1 we are told, "I have called you by name." In John 10:3 Jesus said, "He calls his own sheep by name."

There are several scriptures about God's love for and attention to us as individuals. In John 15:16, Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you." In John 10:14 Jesus said, "I know my own and my own know me." And in Matthew 10:29-31 Jesus expressed further the care of the Lord for us as individuals: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." In Psalm 139:1-24 David expressed God's care and concern and knowledge of him as an individual: "O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways."

And the prayers of one individual do reach the ears of God. Psalm 37:4-5 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." Jesus said in Matthew 6:4-8, "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." In John 15:7 Jesus said, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." Jesus goes on to say in John 15:16, "so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you." James 5:13-18 says, "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth." Psalm 50:15 says, "And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." In the Gospel of Luke Jesus told two parables about answering of individual prayers that are offered persistently:

Luke 11:5-13: "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 18:1-8: “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

In spite of God's individual creation of us, his knowing our name, his knowledge of and care for us, and in spite of him hearing and answering our individual prayers; yet, the realities of all individuals is to have times of grappling with temptations and at times sinning. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Even so, during these times, does God stop caring about us as individuals? Jesus told two parables that demonstrated God's continual love even for individuals whom have gone astray.

In the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), we are told that the shepherd leaves the 99 to seek out and find the lost ONE to bring it back to the fold: "And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!"

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) we are told about the father's great rejoicing when the son returns home after his wild living: "And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’"

In Genesis 18:16-33 and 19:1-29 we read a powerful story about the mercy God showed to a very few individuals who were spared when He completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. In Chapter 18 we read about Abraham pleading with God to spare the righteous. Abraham asked God, "Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” Abraham progressively asks God if only 45, what if only 40, 30, 20, what if only 10 righteous people were found, would God still destroy Sodom. And each time God replied, no, that He would not destroy the city if even as few as ten were found. However, ultimately only Lot, his wife, and two daughters were spared, led away by an angel (but Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt). Did not God know the hearts of each individual in Sodom and in Gomorrah? Did He not know that only Lot was righteous, and thus he did have mercy on him and spared him. Does not God know each and every one of our hearts and have mercy on us as individuals as well?

God's will is to continually be reconciled with each and every one. In Colossians 1:20-22, Paul tells us, "and through him [Jesus] God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault."

The Power of ONE. God individually created each one of us, knows each individual's name, cares about and has knowledge of us as individuals, answers individual prayers, and rejoices when each one turns back from sin and reconciles with Him.

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