Five Ways to Sit at His Feet

Do you ever put tasks ahead of spending time with Jesus?

A story in Luke 10 tells of two sisters and how they spent their time when Jesus came one day for a visit. Martha was busy scurrying to get to the end of her “to-do list,” but Mary chose a different path. She settled herself at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His words and His presence.

Perhaps today we can set aside our to-do lists until we’ve mimicked Mary. Let’s stop scurrying and be seated instead. There is always plenty of room at His feet.

Here are five ways to slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus:

1. Give your to-do list to the Lord.

Sometimes it is so hard to hear the Lord’s voice through all of the hustle of our day. We stress and obsess about our to-do list and all of our many appointments. The best way to focus in on our time with God {and to leave our to-do list behind} is actually to take our to-do list along with us!

Get alone and get quiet. Ask God to bring to your mind all that you must get done. Make a list of these things. Then, spend time praying through each item on the list.

As God brings more tasks to your mind, write them down. Don’t worry that it is unspiritual to stop halfway through a prayer and jot an item down. It helps you to clear your mind and then allows you to focus better on your time alone with God. He is concerned about all of the details of our life even if it is our plan to go grocery shopping or run to the dry cleaners.

2. Get intentional.

Treat your time alone with God as serious as any other appointment you have. When you have to go to the dentist, you brush your teeth and make sure you show up on time. Why do we assume our time alone with God will just happen spontaneously? Learn to treat it with intentionality. Enter in the time you will spend with God in your digital calendar or write it in your paper planner. You can even set an alarm on your phone. Have a designated time and stick to it.

3. Read and write.

Get a hold of a good devotional book or Bible study workbook. You can check out some of my favorites here. Use them to help you know where to read in the Bible. But don’t just read the Bible. Write your thoughts down too.

Keeping a journal will help you grow your relationship with God. You will process as you write out your thoughts. Also learn to both read and write prayers. Read prayers in the book of Psalms out loud to God. Then, write out your own specific prayers to Him as well. It will amaze you when you go back later and see the ways that God answered your prayers.

4. Make a recording and memorize.

Ever vowed to memorize scripture but then failed to follow through? One way to remedy this is to memorize verses by listening to them audibly over and over again in your own voice.  Use your phone’s voice memo app to record yourself reading out loud any verses or passages of scripture you would like to commit to memory. Then, pop in your headphones and listen to the verses each day as you walk, do housework, or cook dinner. It makes it so much easier to cement the words in your in your mind this way!

5. Discover the Bible’s non-negotiables.

Grab a Bible and a notebook. Pick a New Testament book such as James or Colossians. Read it through stopping each time you see a non-negotiable command that we as Christians are supposed to do. When you come across one, write it down. For example:  James 1:19-21 (CSB) says…

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

So you would write in your notebook:

When dealing with others, I need to:

~ Be quick to listen

~ Be slow to speak

~ Be slow to get angry because being angry doesn’t accomplish the things of God.

I must also:

~ Get rid of that which is morally wrong and evil.

~ I need to spend time planting the word of God humbly in my heart. It will save me!

When we read the Bible, we learn. However, when we write out the commands in a way that is personal to us, we allow the word to take root deep within our hearts. This will help us the next time we are faced with a situation where we need to react in a godly manner but find it challenging. When we have trained our brain to recall the non-negotiables of a Christian’s behavior, it allows us to act, and react, in a much better way.

Free Printable

Here’s a printable reminder of this list for you.

Blessings to you as you sit at his feet.

Your life is loud. But if you will just press pause for a few minutes each day, you can discover what Jesus longs to give you: His peace.

Whether you’re a working professional, a wife, a mom, a sister, an aunt, a daughter-in-law, or any combination of these, your life is busy. And no matter what stage of life you may find yourself in, what your hurried and overcrowded heart needs most is rest. In Settle My Soul, my co-author Ruth Schwenk and I invite you to carve out a few moments in your day to deepen your relationship with the Lord through 100 encouraging devotions. 

Settle My Soul, devotional by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk.

**affiliate links may be included at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that bring value to my readers’ lives.


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  • I have intentional time set with God but I think I just treat it as a to-do-list- hurry, do it, check it off. I need to be still like the previous comment says. Great suggestions. Thanks! Beverly

  • This devotional spoke volumes to me. I need to intentionally sit at the feet of Jesus everyday (be still) and listen. I do have what I thought was quiet time with the Lord every morning but I still find myself distracted by all that needs accomplished for the day somewhere during this time. I even spend at least half and hour worshipping the Lord with praise music as I workout. Your 5 suggestions were a blessing to me today. Thank you. I will be putting all 5 things into practice. I need to be more like Mary!

  • With the hectic schedule of getting my son of to school, making sure my husband takes his medication and eats as he recovers from a transplant, getting ready myself and having the house in order for the nurse and home health aide; I must find time to spend with God andread to stay even kil. The LirLord is my strength and humanly I can not go about my daily schedule without him. The last three years with my husband illness prior to the blessing of the call he had a donor for the transplant December 14th, 2014; I was emotionally and physically exhausted and without my time with the Lord I was “dying”. A journal and writing keys notes from reading is essential.

    • Oops! Forgot to answer the question! See, I’m already distracted. :)

      Over-scheduling is my problem. I need to shorten my to do list and add more time at the foot of the cross.

  • I take time first thing in the morning that I read devotionals. But I get distracted with what I have to do for that day, my mind wonders about things happening in my life. And the fact I only have so much time to spend with God before getting ready for work. I guess you c o Ulf say a time crunch! I truly need to prioritize. Thank you for the suggestions.

  • Wow…. God is really meeting me know I need to sit at His feet. I recently jammed my big toe which automatically made me sit to soak out. I felt like I really needed to be finishing my to do list, but instead I was sitting. I understand why now. I need to sit at the feet of Jesus every day and let Him guide me. Thank you for this reminder!

  • It is easy for me to get too busy too quickly – getting ready for work, scurrying around. Quiet time with God needs to be a planned event, and a top priority. Thank you for reminding me to be more like Mary!

  • Poor planning q=and get distracted is my my major problems; but I really have a tough time crawling out of the warm bed and settling myself to be in quiet mode. I do find the best time to quiet my mind is in the car with Christian music playing softly in the backqround — but I am not alway in the car–so need to plan time at home also–thank you for your suggestions

  • I read a devotion almost every morning, but my struggle is with prayer time. My mind wanders so! I have tried to pray at night also, but usually fall asleep. I would appreciate any suggestions!

  • I find that I let myself be distracted by my to do list, and by the “urgent ” things that pop up. I know my quiet time is important, but it often is moved down my list, and then I sometimes move through the time I do have with the Lord without truly intending to connect with him and just be still, or seated. Thank you for the reminder that God deserves my intentionality and I need the connection with Him toour!

  • I struggle with mornings, period! Once I convince myself to get out of bed and turn off the alarm (which I keep in the bathroom, so that I have to get up to turn it off). I stand at the coffee pot waiting for the brew to finish and argue in my mind whether I will turn on the t.v. and pile up on the couch under a blanket for the 30 minutes I have before the kids get up, or will I go to the reading chair in my room and spend time with God (which was the whole reason I set the alarm to get up 30 minutes early). But mornings it has to be, because the day is eaten up with work and kids and believe it or not, I’m even sleepier in the evenings! I’m and early to bed and late to rise kinda gal!

  • My struggle doesn’t always lie with my ability to create and maintain a devotional time with God – over the years I have learned that my early morning quiet time is key to my spiritual growth. My struggle lies in how to keep the peace I gain in that time throughout the day as life happens!! Thanks for your ideas and encouragement.

  • I really do have a quiet time in the mornings. I can still get distracted. I have to intentionally get my Bible open and journal open. I Love the idea of recording to help memorize because that is definitely not my strong point. Thank you for your words this morning and I look forward to reading more.

  • I have a Bible reading plan which I follow, I have a notebook, I do sit down many mornings with God. But it ends up as just being something else on my to-do list, and gets ticked off (metaphorically speaking) when I’ve done it. I really appreciated your blog and will try some of the things you mention, specifically bringing my to-do list to God and praying through each item. Why on earth have I never done that before. Plus I am always thinking of what I’ve got to do whilst I’m reading my chapters for the day, and I find I pretty much skim them. I do need to give myself more time with God, most definitely and not see it as wasted time – that sounds terrible, but you know what I mean. Time that’s not spent getting my to-do list done. Thanks again, so much. God bless. Sue

  • For me it is prioritizing! I do read proverbs 31 devotions and then I read other emails and then facebook….and then jump into my morning exercise routine…..I need to do as you suggest, get a study guide and journal in order to grow.

  • I have been having some trouble with my memory lately and whether it’s something medical or an overloading of tasks on my “never say no plate”, I have been praying that God would reveal to me a way of order & a way to retain & for His Word to take root in my heart & mind. This morning I woke up & decided to read my email….before getting alone with God. But The email brought me to this blog which is so encouraging! Through the “scurrying or seated” devotional & this post He has given me a practical way to find order & and get in His word daily! God is amazing! Thank you for being obedient to the call that He has put on your life to impact others like me!

  • Thank you so much for your suggestions on spending time with God. My Bible study and prayer life has rather been a rather ‘hit and miss’ affair up till now and I have rarely felt close to God, consequently I seem to have gone from one crisis to another in my life. Now I mean to follow this plan, become closer to God, and with His help begin to sort my life out. My first priority is to put Him first in my day so , for me, is to organise my bedtime routine: ie, early to bed so I can rise early to spend time with Him. This has been a real problem with me since living alone for the first time in my life and suffering from depression, so “Thank You” for you help, now I can begin to see light at the end of my dark tunnel.

  • Thank you! I need to become more intentional about spending time with God. I appreciate your list of 5 things to do. They will help me get more intentional.

  • I think for me it’s feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. I’ve read more about the Bible than I have actually read the Bible. I need to come up with a plan of action and get to it! I’ve really enjoyed reading Made to Crave and A Confident Heart btw :) Really appreciated the honesty.

  • Most thing which distract me is poor management of time inspite of this had managed to write a devotion booki thank God also distracction give me tips

  • I think mine would be feeling like I am a wife and mother and things
    need to get done ASAP. I have three kids, one which is special needs and another one with learning difficulties.
    I am always the last on the list to get things done for myself. Life for me right now is really hard!!! I am making an effort
    though to try and wake up before the kids and spend time with The Lord. I realize that apart from God I am nothing and
    can’t achieve nothing. I have noticed that I am at my worst when I haven’t spent time with Him first. He is my strength!!!
    These last two weeks have been very hard for me. So here I am now at 3:32 a.m. in the morning getting my alone time on
    because I know when the kids awake and hit the floor, there is no alone time. Let’s continue to keep each other lifted up in prayer.

    • I am with you….last on the list but, without us how can they be cared for? Putting God first takes care of us so we can be good stewards and take care of them for Him.

  • Hello. I really enjoyed reading your post on proverbs31 and your blog. I have to be honest poor planning,rushing, time management distracts me from my time with God. Sometimes I feel that my to do list is more important and of course never ending. I’m like you when I sent get everything completed I wonder what’s wrong with myself and then I become frustrated. Now I’m going god at the top of my to do list to make a priority and watch how God works everything in my favor. I’m going to do the five things that you suggested . Thanks so much for the encouragement.

  • Poor planning….I need to become intentional about booking a daily appointment with God. My favourite time is to get up in the middle of night when everyone is sleeping, make a cup of tea and curl up on the loveseat, but that is extremely hard to be committed to.

    • I get distracted when my job overwhelms me with extra time, pressure, added responsibilities. I know this is the most crucial time to make time for God and reflection, but it does not always happen. I am getting better though :)

    • Thanks for that devo…I’m guilty of sometime expecting devo time to spontaneously happen. I’m an artist and one way lately that I’ve found to really meditate on God’s word is to develop a calligraphy of the verse. I help with the visuals for worship in our church by doing set design and this sermon series I have been designing banners with verses and its been so good for me spiritually to meditate on the chapters and verses.

      • Journal writing is a struggle. What I feel, say and write doesn’t match up. Number 5 is very clear and I would love to do this.

        • I really do struggle with time management. I thank God for this devotional and for bringing the steps to mind through you that will help me do better.

    • I am such a Martha! It just seems as though I am talking to God all the time in my head but not a lot of intentional – only when someone asks me to pray for them. Then I stop and intentionally pray for them. I work a lot on the computer and it seems as though its hard to find time to read the word. Even at night I will do the talking bible on my phone to read Psalms and Proverbs for the day. I save my favorite verses on Notepad on my phone to go back and read when I am feeling weak or post them on my computer monitor. Thank you for the reminder to be intentional!

    • I definitely have poor planning.. I have 4 kids and a full time job.. I have to commute to my job and once I get home I have to cook dinner and check homework.. I am always running around and trying to figure out what needs to be done next.. I feels as if there is not enough time in the day..

      • I believe my main obstacles are planning and time mgt, which seem to go hand in hand. Thank you for a very pertinent and encouraging post.

    • distractions..and the business of’s either early in the morning or nothing because of my home I will purpose in my heart to get up earlier and spend that quiet time with him consistently. I know it’s not only important, it’s crucial.

    • When I usually get distracted the most is when I need him the most. My selfish sinful desires. It may be sleeping in, or the excuse of the housework that needs done. Lately I have been setting my alarm two hours before my children wake up, which I am able to take care of my spirit AND body, two things I neglect the most. I spend about 30 minutes in Gods word, and 15 on the treadmill. Its amazing how the time I take in the morning will effect how ivreact to the rest of my day. Everything is possible with God!

    • I maybe late for the giveaway, but I would still like to comment. I feel as though sometimes there is not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I need to accomplish. I find comfort in Psalm 61:1-3 I trust in my Savior to lead me to the Rock that’s higher than I to give me balance. I find strength and tranquility when I put him first and acknowledge him before my day begins.

    • Love the post!
      I think poor planning and just the thoughts that run in and out of my head are what distract me. Which is why I really loved what you wrote about bringing the to do list with me. Today being the beginning of the Lenten season I have “plans”… you gave me a tool. Thank you.

    • God knew that I really needed to read this, because I have have good intentions everyday to spend time with him, but I get distracted with everything else. I want to spend time to hear his voice and to give me guidance in my life. I used to write in a great funjournal everyday, but got to busy to do it, and I miss doing it. I thank you for putting this together, because I need to become more into nap with God. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • My distraction is frustration and being fearful, worrying that He won’t be pleased by the way I spend time with Him. Sometimes I discourage myself to the point where it seems foolish to try. All the whole my soul is crying out for Him and it becomes a matter of knowing that I can’t make it through anything without Him.

    • Thanks for the awesome advice and reminders posted on Proverbs 31 Ministry. I begin every day with my quiet time with God, but I am so easily distracted. I’m an ADD mom who is constantly on the go. Four weeks ago, I had a skiing accident and broke my wrist. Since then, I have obviously been forced to slow down. I have had much more quiet time to spend in God’s Word and in prayer. I was nearing the end of my recovery when I slipped on the ice last week and separated my shoulder. Now the same arm is in a sling for another 6 weeks. I am quite helpless! Once again, God has stopped me from my crazy life of running here and there. God is good. I guess sometimes we need a little help to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 Sitting at His feet :)

    • Planning to do it later. If I don’t read the Bible and devotionals first thing in the morning, the list takes over. Since a lot of things on the list involve talking to people, I try to use each conversation as an opportunity to bless and encourage the person on the other end of the phone line.

    • This information was shared with me today on my 29th Birthday in order to help me with this daily struggle I have been having trying to find time as a mom of 2 boys to spend growing in my walk with the LORD. Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions. Also a special thanks to a fellow member of The Mom’s in Prayer for sharing this page with me.

    • Thank you so much for making my day and lifting me up! It was just what my soul needed. It made me think about what I can change and how I can have more resolve in reading God’s word daily. Thank you again and God Bless YOU!

    • What distracts me the most are the tasks to do. So I find your advice very helpful! I also like to make prayer points list so it helps me organize my prayer life!

    • Thank you so much for posts like this one! Although life is busy, God should be and remain the center of life and these ideas are fantastic because of how busy life really is! Thank you for the reminder we all need at times and ideas to help us further our walk with the Lord!!!! :-)