In this chapter Rav Wolbe sets up a core paradox regarding prayer. What does it mean to ask for something from God? Doesn’t hashem already know what I need? Rav Wolbe expands this into a broader issue from the world of Mussar. He opens up the issue of causality as a fundamental contradiction to the notion of divine providence.
This issue features prominently in the works of Rav Yisrael Salanter, the founder of the Mussar movement, as well as Rav Simcha Zissel (the Saba) of Kelm. Rav Wolbe in other places represents this same apparent contradiction as Athens vs. Jerusalem. Likely drawing on the work of Moses Hess and perhaps Leo Strauss. This conflict represents a core debate between religion and science that flows through out many religious thinkers.
These four shiurim cover the opening piece of the chapter