Merriam-Webster Unabridged defines word as: “something that is said: utterance, statement.” In Scripture, word takes on two basic meanings with a range in between.
“He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut 8:3 NRS).
“Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Ps 139:4 RSV).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God;all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:1–3, 14 RSV).
“He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God” (Rev 19:13 RSV).
“Who am I? . . . In Ephesians 1:4: our lives are immersed in blessing ‘just as God chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before God in love.’ Chose is the operative word here. It represents a compound Greek word formed with a preposition meaning ‘forth from’ or ‘out of’ and the verb ‘to speak.’ Its woodenly literal meaning is ‘to speak forth.’ If you were to call on a member of a group to come forward and assist you in some activity, you would be speaking them forth from the rest of your options. You would be choosing them. So the translation ‘chose’ is fine, but it doesn’t carry the thrust of what Paul is saying. When you put ‘spoke forth’ together with the next phrase, ‘before the foundation of the world,’ where do you think Paul’s Hebrew brain is? Paul is back in Genesis 1, where God ‘spoke forth’ creation into being. In fact, Paul has gone back to Genesis 0, because he is writing of something God did before the foundation of the world. Paul is saying that you and I were ‘spoken forth’ out of the heart of God’s love before the foundation of the world. That is a truth of radical significance. Here is the ultimate ground of our identity. You are a beloved child of God, spoken forth out of the heart of God’s love before the foundation of the world” (M. Robert Mulholland Jr., The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self [Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2006], 71).
See Playing with Prayer.