An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Prevenient Grace

The aspect of God's grace that is understood to precede the free determination of the will. The term “prevenient” is derived from the Latin meaning “to come before” or “to anticipate.” The human response in faith to God is always a response to God's initiative and invitation communicated by the Holy Spirit. This faithful response is made possible by prevenient grace. It must be freely made by the person, and is never compelled by God.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.