held in Swami’s presence at Suffolk, UK in 2016 Swami responded to a question about prayers to Him for help. Here is what Swami said:
“You ask Me for help, I will send help.
Once, a man was crying; he had gotten into trouble and was being chased by thieves. He saw the thieves chasing him, in the forest, and he cried, “O Krishna! Help me! Save me from the thieves.” Then, he turned around and started pelting stones at the thieves – but, the thieves did not run off. After some time, he ran again; again, the thieves began chasing him. He turned around and said, “O Krishna! Save me now, at least.” Then, he started throwing sticks and stones at the people and trying to save himself. Finally, the thieves caught him and he cried, “O Krishna! Help me,” and gave up. When he gave up, Krishna finally came. The man said, “Krishna, I called You twice, but you did not come; only now have You come. Why did you come so late?”
Krishna said, “The very first time you called, ‘Krishna, come help me,’ I was about to come, then I saw that you were helping yourself, so I didn’t interfere. When you called, ‘Krishna, come and help me,’ the second time, I was about to come but, again, I saw you helping yourself, so I stayed back. It was only the last time, when you really gave up, and said, ‘O Krishna! Only You can help, I cannot,’ then I came. The delay is not from My side. When you surrender and pray, “Swami! You alone can help, I am nothing,” I will help you in a thousand ways. That is the way it works – whatever you need, I will send.”