Then, getting up from the ground and seeing Lord Brahmā before him, the head of the Daityas was overwhelmed by jubilation. With tears in his eyes, his whole body shivering, he began praying in a humble mood, with folded hands and a faltering voice, to satisfy Lord Brahmā. (Srimad Bhagavatam-7:3:25-translation).
All the hosts of demigods are surrendering before You and entering into You. Some of them, very much afraid, are offering prayers with folded hands. Hosts of great sages and perfected beings, crying "All peace!" are praying to You by singing the Vedic hymns."'
The demigods in all the planetary systems feared the terrific manifestation of the universal form and its glaring effulgence and soprayed for protection.
(Bhagavad-Gita-11:21 translation and purport).
In the material creation Brahmā has to create all kinds of living entities with bodies suitable to their material conditions. Brahmā wants to be protected by the Lord because he has to contact many, many vicious living entities. An ordinary brāhmaṇa may fall from the brahma-tejas, or the power of brahminical excellence, due to his association with many fallen, conditioned souls. Brahmā, as the supermost brāhmaṇa, is afraid of such a falldown, and therefore he prays to the Lord for protection. This is a warning for one and all in the spiritual advancement of life. Unless one is sufficiently protected by the Lord, he may fall down from his spiritual position; therefore one has to pray constantly to the Lord for protection and the blessing to carry out one's duty. Lord Caitanya also entrusted His missionary work to His devotees and assured them of His protection against the onslaught of material affection.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is undoubtedly equal to everyone. He has no friend and no enemy, but as one desires benefits from the Lord, the Lord is very pleased to award them. The lower and higher positions of different living entities are due to their desires, for the Lord, being equal to all, fulfills everyone's desires. The killing of Hiraṇyakaśipu and saving of Prahlāda Mahārāja also strictly followed this law of the supreme controller's activities. When Prahlāda's mother, Hiraṇyakaśipu's wife, Kayādhu, was under the protection of Nārada, she prayed for the protection of her son from the enemy, and Nārada Muni gave assurance that Prahlāda Mahārāja would always be saved from the enemy's hands. Thus when Hiraṇyakaśipu was going to kill Prahlāda Mahārāja, the Lord saved Prahlāda to fulfill His promise in Bhagavad-gītā (kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (B.G.9:31)) and to prove true the words of Nārada. The Lord can fulfill many purposes through one action. Thus the killing of Hiraṇyakaśipu and the saving of Prahlāda were enacted simultaneously to prove the truthfulness of the Lord's devotee and the fidelity of the Lord Himself to His own purpose. (Srimad Bhagavatam-7:9:29-purport).
An example of the neophyte class is Mahārāja Dhruva. He was in need of his father's kingdom and therefore engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord. Then in the end, when he was completely purified, he declined to accept any material benediction from the Lord. Similarly, Gajendra was distressed and prayed to Kṛṣṇa for protection, after which he became a pure devotee. Similarly Sanaka, Sanātana, Sananda and Sanat-kumāra were all in the category of wise, saintly persons, and they were also attracted by devotional service. A similar thing happened to the assemblage in the Naimiṣāraṇya Forest, headed by the sage Śaunaka. They were inquisitive and were always asking Sūta Gosvāmī about Kṛṣṇa. Thus they achieved the association of a pure devotee and became pure devotees themselves. So that is the way of elevating oneself. In whatever condition one may be, if he is fortunate enough to associate with pure devotees, then very quickly he is elevated to the second-class or first-class platform. (Nectar of Devotion).