Matt Maher: An exclusive interview

An exclusive interview with Matt Maher before his return to Red Rocks, Amazing Parish

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After playing for a packed Red Rocks in June, Matt Maher will return for an encore Red Rocks performance and the Amazing Parish Conference.

Maher said that playing at Red Rocks during the June Third Day and Friends show was a dream come true. He described the experience as a “bucket list moment.”

“What’s amazing about Red Rocks is that it’s like you’re being hit twice. You’re getting hit with the beauty and the magnitude of God’s creation in such an amazing setting. And then on top of it, hopefully you’re hearing great music, too,” Maher said. “Augustine said, ‘He who sings prays twice.’ Maybe he who sings while staring at nature sings four times.”

Maher will return to play at the Amazing Parish Conference 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11. He will follow that with another Red Rocks performance with Chris Tomlin and a variety of other Christian singers.

Tomlin is hosting an event called Worship Nights in America. The praise and worship nights will take place in Madison Square Garden, New York, Sacramento, Calif., and Denver.

“The heart behind it is really to gather all Christians together to pray and worship God, but to specifically pray for America at this sort of critical time in the history of America, for the Church to come together and be a witness and pray,” Maher said.

The event will feature singers from a variety of Christian denominations, including Louie Giglio, Matt Redman, Kari Jobe and Rend Collective. Maher said Tomlin invited him to play so that Catholics would be represented.

“Chris invited me not only as a brother, but as a Catholic, saying, ‘Hey, we need Catholics to come pray and feel valued and recognized for their tremendous contributions around the world, but also for their faith,’” Maher said.

Maher said he hopes the concert will inspire both Christians and non-believers with its ecumenism. He said that the driving force behind his whole ministry comes from John 17, “that they would all be one.”

“Division is something very real in the world that we live in today and it’s not just division in the Church,” Maher said. “But what’s interesting is that when the Church prays together, even a divided Church, Catholics and all these different denominations of Christians and non-denominational Christians, when we come together and when we’re able to pray together and worship God together in public, we’re creating a visible sign of that unity that will exist in Heaven. There’s only one Church in Heaven.”

Tickets are available for the Red Rocks show and Amazing Parish. Go to mattmahermusic.com and the Amazing Parish website for more information.

COMING UP: Lebanese priest: ‘We need your prayers’ after Beirut explosions

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A Lebanese Catholic priest has asked believers around the world to pray for the people of his country, after two explosions in Beirut injured hundreds of people and are reported to have left at least 10 people dead.

“We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, and that the Lord will protect Lebanon from evil through your prayers,” Fr. Miled el-Skayyem of the Chapel of St. John Paul II in Keserwan, Lebanon, said in a statement to EWTN News Aug. 4.

“We are currently going through a difficult phase in Lebanon, as you can see on TV and on the news,” the priest added.

Raymond Nader, a Maronite Catholic living in Lebanon, echoed the priest’s call.

“I just ask for prayers now from everyone around the world. We badly need prayers,” Nader told CNA Tuesday.

Explosions in the port area of Lebanon’s capital overturned cars, shattered windows, set fires, and damaged buildings across Beirut, a city of more than 350,000, with a metro area of more than 2 million people.

“It was a huge disaster over here and the whole city was almost ruined because of this explosion and they’re saying it’s kind of a combination of elements that made this explosion,” Antoine Tannous, a Lebanese journalist, told CNA Tuesday.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosions, but investigators believe they may have started with a fire in a warehouse that stored explosive materials. Lebanon’s security service warned against speculations of terrorism before investigators could assess the situation.

According to Lebanon’s state-run media, hundreds of injured people have flooded hospital emergency rooms in the city.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning. The country is almost evenly divided between Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Chrsitians, most of whom are Maronite Catholics. Lebanon also has a small Jewish population, as well as Druze and other religious communities.

Featured image: A picture shows the scene of an explosion near the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. – Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble, some bloodied, after the massive explosions, the cause of which was not immediately known. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)