Better Skills than Alexa by Julie Arduini

The one gift I heard most that was under the Christmas tree for adults was the Echo Dot. I received one as well. With simple voice commands you can have news, weather, jokes, music, radio shows, interactive stories and so much more. There is technology to have your Echo device control features around the house. Order items on Amazon. Now skills are opening up with restaurants, Uber, and so much more.

Each week I receive an email explaining what “Alexa” can do. There are skills on my Amazon Echo Dot account that I can enable, and then it teaches me the commands Alexa will respond to. I’ve enjoyed a mystery series, The Tonight Show, news headlines, nature music, Pandora, jokes, silly games, and more.

When I received this week’s email, it was the end of a long week. As a parent, I can take my “stuff” all day long, and there had been challenges. But when the kids are hurting and frustrated, it grieves me. The hard part is there has been a season full of adversity. We know there is purpose and growth in it, but we’re still human. It has been HARD. And this week nearly broke me.


The Amazon Echo/Image from Amazon Product Page

As I sat down with our daughter, I explained to her elements of spiritual warfare. I talked about how dark can’t stand light, and my daughter has a joyful anointing that has come up against darkness more than once, even when she was too young to understand. I told her that when the true defeated one has a scheme to destroy, divide, discourage, or disrupt, he never wants to show his hand. So, when something happens, it truly is God allowing it to expose the enemy. Give us a key to a locked door. And in her tough place this week, we received a huge clue to why it was happening, and how to pray. I also gave her a visual of a snake. When snakes are threatened, they strike. I told her the defeated one is desperate because he knows he is just that, defeated. She understood that in that desperate place, he’s going after God’s beloved.

As we came up with a prayer strategy, that email came to mind. With Alexa, you have to enable that skill. For us, in Christ, those skills are there because of Christ. Christ is in us. With His authority we have the same resurrection power He has. The problem is, many of us don’t use it. Like Alexa, we need a voice command. We can’t be silent and hope God does something on our behalf. We have to pray it down from heaven to earth.

Our son had an equally frustrating week. There are so many promises over his life, but the stressors sometimes overshadow them. Our conversation was the same. Don’t let the words lie dormant. Speak them aloud. Declare His word out loud. Praise Him. He enjoys watching sermons online and has been watching the Code Orange revival series on YouTube. Pastor John Gray spoke about sound. The walls should vibrate and absorb our praise. The saying, “If these walls could talk?” Well, whatever words we’ve put out there, I’ve encouraged the kids to make sure they are words of life. Declaration. Praise.

If you’ve had a week like us, I know the temptation to play dead when it comes to faith. It is exhausting. But we aren’t like the Echo product. We are already enabled. The war is already won. I challenge you in the name of Jesus to use your voice and make some commands in His precious name!


My new release, Finding Freedom Through Surrender: A 30 Day Devotional, contains the surrender themes and characters from my Surrendering Time contemporary romance series. If you’re looking for encouragement when it comes to letting go of fear, loss, change, regret, and the future, check it out!




About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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