We can often identify with both James and John in today’s gospel who didn't know what they were asking from Jesus. Or perhaps we do it indirectly. We might attend mass regularly, act more obediently, and secretly hope God is noticing and will make our requests come to fruition. Probably we have treated God like that one friend whom people call only when they need something.
Imagine if your phone rang only when people needed something from you. It would become pretty tiresome. However, Jesus doesn't scold his disciples for these requests. He makes reference to his ultimate sacrifice. He tries to tell them that he has come to die on the cross, to pay for the sins of the world so that we may have a loving relationship with God. God hears all our requests and knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He doesn't answer when we want but when we really need it. He gives us so much more than what we ask for. He already gave us the best gift, the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, our salvation.