But the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. Galatians 5:22
The word longsuffering comes from a Greek word meaning: enduring, forbearance, patience and to have a forgiving nature. This certainly describes God's nature toward us, not wanting any of us to perish but for all to come to the knowledge of the truth.
As children of God we too are to be patient with others just as He was patient with us. Many times we are quick to give up on people, or to stop the process of faith that is working when we pray for someone. When I was with Teen Challenge we attended an Assembly of God church and they had a term called praying through, in which once you began to pray for someone or something you wouldn't give up until God answered the request.
When praying for the lost we must remember what God had to do in our lives to bring us to the saving knowledge of His grace and the mercy He had for us when we were lost. In the parable of the prodigal son, the boy left his father's house to seek his fortune but squandered his wealth on riotous living and ended up in the pigpen. We must look at people the way God does, seeing the outcome and not the present, the good to come and not the evil so that we might be called sons and daughters of the Most High!
That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Colossians 1:10-12
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin