Grace is something you have to tap. It is not distributed by God. It is like underground water in that you have to tap it, and the tapping is done by action alone. Grace is always there.*
It is a possibility like any other possibility. There are many things that are manifest, surfaced, in this universe. There are also many potential possibilities lying there for you to tap. Every piece of software is a possibility. Every piece of hardware is a possibility. This grace is another possibility. Nobody prays simply because he or she is under pressure. People think that when you are in trouble you will pray. No. When you are in trouble, you hit your head on the wall. You phone somebody and cry. Or you go on a buying spree and purchase a lot of things you cannot use. You need not pray. Prayer is the only action where the will is totally free, because you need not pray. It is an action, karma. It is a physical, oral or mental action (kAyikam vAcikam mAnasam karma). Mentally you pray, deliberately; orally you pray, or ritually you pray. Prayer is a deliberate action where the free-will is totally free— an uninhibited free-will. It is that kind of action that wins grace.
*This is why we say, “I perform this karma to win the grace of Paramesvara (Sri paramesvara-prityartham aham idam karisye). It is not to please Isvara. If Isvara has to be pleased, we’ve had it. Then we have to keep him in good humor. No, we win the grace.”