9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages. 
Simon is a character in the Bible who, like Thomas, is known by history for a moment of weakness. Thomas is forever “doubting” Thomas. And Simon’s name has become a term associated with the buying of religious positions and favors: “simony.” Although not as well-known today as doubting Thomas, simony was a big issue when the church held enormous political power in the middle ages.
But Thomas is more than a doubter. His story concludes with a wonderful proclamation of faith. And Simon as well is more than someone who tried to buy what can only be given by the Holy Spirit. He repents of his error and asks for the apostles to pray for him.
What strikes me about this passage and the story of Simon is that he depicts someone, like Thomas, who still had room for growth. (As we all do!) Simon was a new believer; his discipleship barely underway. He still had very un-Christ-like attitudes and values regarding money and power.
Is that so uncommon among Christians? Incomplete discipleship? Worldly values mixed in with Godly fear? Actually it is the state that all of us are in, myself included. If Peter followed me around, no doubt he would find opportunity to confront me on some manifestation of conduct unbecoming a disciple. As long as we have a sinful nature, and minds and hearts tainted by it, our discipleship will be incomplete, and we will need the rebuke of the law, the repentance wrought by the Spirit, and the healing brought by the Gospel.
(Peter himself needed such rebuking and repenting later on. Read Galatians 1-2.)
So my prayer today is for my own discipleship that it may continue to grow. I pray that the Holy Spirit snow me where my thinking and my values and my behaviors are not in line with the ways and works of Jesus. I pray that I may grow more and more into the image of my Savior.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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 The New International Version. 2011 (Ac 8:9–25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.