(CNN) - On the day following his ceremonial inauguration, President Barack Obama received warm praise Tuesday while attending an interfaith prayer service at the National Cathedral.
Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas, said Americans should "more often" give thanks to Obama and those who serve in higher elected office.
"Thank you, for giving yourselves, for sacrificing, for living in glass houses, for accepting the constant barrage of criticism with very little praise, for being willing to risk everything in order to serve country," he said.
"To be a leader is to invite criticism," he added. "If you're a Sunday school teacher, they'll criticize you. If you're a supervisor at McDonald's, they'll criticize you. If you're a preacher, they'll criticize you. And I don't know how you're still standing." The audience, including Obama, laughed.
Accompanied by his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, Obama sat in the front row for the 90-minute service that featured prayers and readings from members of the Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Islam and Sikh faiths.
One notable participant was Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell from Houston. A spiritual adviser to former President George W. Bush and officiant at Jenna Bush's wedding, Caldwell endorsed Obama in 2008 and has been called a spiritual adviser to this president, as well.
About 2,200 people attended the inaugural prayer service, a tradition that dates back to George Washington. Since Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985, the service has been held at the National Cathedral in Washington.
Obama also attended a service before his ceremonial inauguration on Monday at St. John's Episcopal Church.
In his sermon Tuesday, Hamilton called for a unifying vision for the country, and argued that "without a vision, the people perish."
"They just bicker and fight and become so polarized they can't get anything done," he continued. "We're in need of a new common national vision. Not one that is solely Democratic or solely Republican. We need at least one or two goals or dreams that Americans on both sides of the aisle can come together and say, 'Yes, that's what it means to be American. That's where we need to go'."
Hamilton also joked that Obama should've been a preacher.
"God has given you a unique gift, Mr. President. Unlike any other president that we've had, you have the ability to cast vision and inspire people. You should have been a preacher," he said, drawing laughs.
– CNN's Ashley Killough and Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.
Glass house ?? Ben Ghazi ?? Fast & furious ???
They gave him all they had and he's still standing.
If GOD is for you – who can be against you?
It takes a preacher to know a preacher. The only thing that can help those tea party republicans is a journey on the road to Damascus. Maybe then they can see the light coming from a black president!!!
I can just feel the hate about to come.
Rev. Adam Hamilton spoke the truth and I'll this. The president (with the help of us), has forever changed how we view presidents. No more does the White House belong to a select group of old, rich white men. It belongs to all of us. A lot of minorities were uncertain of change or exactly where they fit in-in this country, before 2008, but now they know they are not just meant to serve others and that they belong here and can really make a difference. I am so thankful the Obama's had the courage to make change and to endure all the headaches that come with it. They have made me proud and I appreciate their hard work and effort.
P.S. I apologize if I offended anyone (who fits this description) with this comment, but this country belongs to ALL of us and it's time we started acting like it.
"Glass house" Presidents don't use Executive Privilege to conceal their illegal activities that get US citizens killed. "Glass House" Presidents don't lie to the American people about terrorist attacks that kill our ambassadors. Open up your "Glass House" Obama and tell the American people the truth.
@ Donna What do you know more than all the smart people paid to know? You spew nonsense and ignorance. What TRUTH ???? Yours? Speak truthfully....what do you hate most about this president that no other president has ever had to do or done? What exactly do you hate?
for what bush the wacko did, you would think some people would be embarass to call themselves repugs
I want to echo what "Woman in California" said.
Let us acknowledge and praise the Secret Service for the outstanding job they are doing in keeping this President safe at the inaguration and as he travels the country & world as our 44th President.
I am sure the frequency and severity of the threats from all the haters out there keep them busy.
Great job guys & gals. Continue to service in silence but know some of us appreciate your hard work & performance.
"They gave him all they had and he's still standing."
And it irks "them" to no end.
Smart people ?? , i dont see them, if you call what the house, senate and pres are doing smart things, sorry i just dont see it. its all political games at our expense, not only has bamman failed us so have both houses, point and blame where you want. it was truly a joint effort !!!
@ Donna What do you know more than all the smart people paid to know? You spew nonsense and ignorance. What TRUTH ???? Yours? Speak truthfully….what do you hate most about this president that no other president has ever had to do or done? What exactly do you hate?
Ah, the race card again..... Yawn......
@moose @donna problem is you choose 2 remain ignorant. Embassies r guarded by us marines, consolates r guarded by host country. No live feeds and host guards high tailed it. It's a hostle nation scat happens!
"Presidents don't use Executive Privilege to conceal their illegal activities that get US citizens killed"
President Obama did NOT do this.
"Presidents don't lie to the American people about terrorist attacks that kill our ambassadors."
again, President Obama did NOT do this.
Turn off Faux Noise and you'll start feeling smarter instantly.
"Glass house" Presidents don't use Executive Privilege to conceal their illegal activities that get US citizens killed.
If you are making allusions to "False and Frivilous", then you need to study up on Arizona law, especially the gun laws. Agents watched someone purchase dozens of assault rifles in a single purchase from a gun store. Agents watched that someone sell those weapons in the parking lot to another individual. Agents were not able to follow the weapons re-purhcaser because they lacked "just cause" that a crime had been committed.
Everything the agents observed was legal under AZ laws. There was nothing that they could do, despite the fact they suspected the weapons would be eventually heading to Mexico.