Language possesses a powerful role in society. Written and spoken words permeate the globe as communication and language play a significant role in cultural progress, ranging from development of relationships to outlooks on life to the very creation of the world. Conversation between people allows them to share their unique perspective and develop a connection with each other; writers put words on paper to share an experience imagined or real in books and poems. In a Christian worldview, words happen throughout creation and the relationships in it: God spoke the world into being; His people respond to Him in prayer using words; the bible is the Word that creates the foundation for a relationship with God for guidelines as to how to live a lifestyle that reflects that. Language, used to establish and maintain connections and communication in relationships, also reflects a person’s general perspective on life and interests based on what words they choose and what topics they choose to discuss. Language brought the world into being and shapes perception, thereby creating realities. God develops our realities as our lives and perceptions progress; we must engage with the dialogue He starts with us to grow closer to Him and the full potential He created for us.
Language creates; God spoke the world into existence. As Genesis recounts the creation story in the first chapter, it repeatedly says, “And God said, ‘Let there be…’” as He makes night and day, land and sea and sky, plants and creatures, man. John, one of the gospel accounts, also begins with God’s spoken word. It starts, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). God used words to create a reality in the world, and the masterpieces He made in His image use words to shape their perception of that world.
A person’s reality gets created through God’s Word and by following it. God spoke the world and His people into being, and He continues to shape their existence through His Word. Christians read the bible, and that shapes their beliefs, behavior, and perception. Take the Ten Commandments, for example. The bible describes how God spoke the commandments to Moses, who wrote them down in a book. The immediate audience in this case had to obey these rules, such as do not steal and do not use the Lord’s name in vain. Still in existence in today’s bible, Christians encounter them and obey them in their everyday life. The caution in using the Lord’s name in vain particularly comes into play in choosing words to express extreme emotions in an exclamation. Absorbing the Word places it in a person’s head, and that alters their perception of the world. God continues to create His children’s reality.
God seeks personal relationships with His people, and communication utilizes words to maintain those connections. Specifically, prayer unites God to His children. Prayer first allows people to respond to God: His daily gifts, His Word, everyday encounters. God makes these objects observable to all and include sunrises painting the sky, flowers opening to the sky, a stranger smiling, a person laughing, a friend hugging. As Psalms 19:1-4 point out, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” The evidence manifests throughout creation. One only has to select when to respond. Typically the prayer includes words directed at God. They express thanksgiving, admiration, confession, and supplication. A reciprocal process made of words, prayer connects God with His people. As they unite, the choice in words reflects the perception of the world created through this relationship.
Language creates all reality. It permeates all human interaction and perception. Words have created since God spoke our world and people into existence. From there He has used words to provide His people with the bible, language used to speak to His children, providing them a foundation for living. Prayer serves as a response to Him as His people talk back. Language provides us a way to maintain a relationship to God, responding to his glory with dialogue.