“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peter answered: ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!’”
Acts 8: 14 - 20, NIV, emphasis added

Extra reading: Acts 9: 17, Acts 19: 1 - 6, Joel 2: 28, 29

What a blessing! I don’t know where I would be without the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. And how does a believer receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Though there are exceptional examples where the baptism in the Holy Spirit happen without the laying on of hands, by and large we see that the way God chooses to give His people His spirit is by having them participate in the action that signifies agreement: the laying on of hands.

So we lay on hands to give people the blessing of God’s words and promises, and we also lay on hands for people to receive the baptism in the Spirit. How generous our Heavenly Father is with His children - He gives us all that we need for life and for godliness!

And this text emphasises it so well: even though this is an in credibly valuable blessing no money can buy it. If that were the case then there would be discrimination: the rich would be able to have the Spirit and the poor would go without. God makes it clear when He speaks through the prophet Joel that there should be no discrimination with this baptism: rich, poor, old, young, lowly, and lofty - all have access to the Holy Spirit by faith. That is why Peter is so angry with Simon for wanting to pay for the gift.

Have you received the baptism in the Spirit? If you’ve been following with this devotional series, you would have gone through the baptisms and have had an opportunity to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. But in case you missed it, how about now? Can you get to another believer who can pray for you and lay on hands for baptism in the Holy Spirit?

If you have received the Spirit, then why don’t you see if there is a friend or family member who can receive this blessing from you?


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today I ask again for an outpouring of the Spirit on me, and that I may be one to bless others by laying my hands on them for the purpose of receiving your Holy Spirit.

Would you like to do this devotion with the family?

  1. Start by reading today’s passage. This job can be assigned to a child.
  2. Have a conversation with your children about money. Do they receive pocket money? How do they spend it? How do they decide whether something is worth the money? Tell them about the blessing of having the Holy Spirit (you may need to refer back to the devotional series on baptism). Ask them how much they think this gift would be worth if they had to buy it. Explain to them that this gift is free because God wants all His children to have His Holy Spirit. If they haven’t received it yet, invite them to receive this baptism by the laying on of your hands.
  3. Prepare a pass the parcel game. After each child has had a chance to unwrap the parcel and receive a gift (something small like a snack is fine) explain to them that they can be the person who helps another person receive the Holy Spirit just like that have received.
  4. Finish by praying together and lead younger children. If the prayer above is too complex for children use the one below:

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your blessing of the Holy Spirit in my life. I ask you for the opportunity to lay my hands on someone else and pray for them so that they may also receive this gift.