Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur'aan, "O mankind, there has come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy."
(Soorah Yoonus, 10:57)
Hence, the Qur'aan is a mercy, healing and guide. The reader should approach the Qur'aan realizing fully the answer to the following questions: For whom is the Qur'aan a mercy? For whom is the Qur'aan a healing? For whom is the Qur'aan a guide? In fact, for whom has the Qur'aan actually been revealed?
The answer to all these questions is one and the same. The Qur'aan is a mercy, healing and guide and has been revealed for the sake of every individual who wishes to believe in it and follow it. Hence, in essence, the Qur'aan has actually been revealed for the reader himself. Furthermore, by following it and accepting its teachings, he is simply helping his own soul while, on the other hand, if he turns away from it, he simply hurts his own soul: "Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees it, will do so (for the good) of his own self, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own harm. And I (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) am not a watcher over you."
(Sooratul-An'aam, 6:104) "Say: O mankind, now truth has come to you from your Lord. So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss. And I am not (set) over you as a Wakeel (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance)."
(Soorah Yoonus, 10:108)
It is true that the Qur'aan was revealed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم during his lifetime but the Qur'aan was not revealed just for him and his Companions رضي الله عنهم. No, indeed, the Qur'aan was revealed for every believer until the Day of Judgment. As Murad رحمه الله writes,
"No doubt the Qur'aan was sent down at a specific point in history, and you have received it indirectly through persons, time and space. But the Qur'aan is the word of the Ever-living God, it is eternally valid and it addresses every person. So let all these intermediaries recede for a while and allow yourself to read the Qur'aan as if it is talking directly to you, as an individual and as a member of a collectivity, in your time. The very thought of such direct reception will keep your heart seized by what you are reading." 
The reader must have this realization that the Qur'aan was revealed for him and his guidance. When he approaches the Qur'aan, he should think to himself, "In Allaah's mercy سبحانه و تعالى, He has revealed this book for my benefit. He has revealed it so I may know my Lord سبحانه و تعالى and see that path that is pleasing to Him. In reality, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is talking directly to me in the Qur'aan. He is guiding me directly."
When the reader reads about the bounties of paradise and Allaah's pleasure سبحانه و تعالى with the believers, he should realize that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى may be talking about him being in Paradise and earning Allaah's pleasure سبحانه و تعالى if he chooses to believe and do right. Similarly, when he reads about the Hell-fire and Allaah's wrath سبحانه و تعالى, he should realize again that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى might be talking about him if that is the path that he so chooses. When the person reads with this awareness, as Murad stated, his heart will be seized by what he is reading.
In fact, whenever he reads about Allaah's rewards سبحانه و تعالى for the believers, from his heart will gush forth the words, "O Allaah, allow me to be one of those who earn such reward and Your pleasure." And whenever he reads of Allaah's punishment سبحانه و تعالى, he will immediately respond, "O Allaah, save me from such an evil end and life."
This is exactly the practice and the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم in reading the Qur'aan. Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aa'ishah رضي الله عنها narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would never pass over a verse that mentioned "mercy" except that he would stop at that point and ask for Allaah's mercy سبحانه و تعالى. Similarly, he would never pass over a verse that mentions punishment except that he would stop at that point and seek refuge in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى from that punishment. 
On another occasion, Muslim ibn Makhraq رحمه الله said to Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aa'ishah رضي الله عنها, "Some of the people read the whole Qur'aan once or twice in a night." She said, "Whether they read it or don't read it [they are just reading its words but are not understanding it]. I prayed with the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم during the entire night and he read soorahs al-Baqarah, aali-'Imraan and an-Nisaa'. He would not pass by any verse that gave good tidings except that he would supplicate and hope for it. He would also not pass by any verse that mentions any punishment except that he would supplicate and seek refuge from it." 
Furthermore, when any command comes from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in the Qur'aan, the reader must realize that it is directed to him. Whenever Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says, "O you who believe ... " or "O mankind ... ", he responds as if he hears someone calling his name because he knows that these verses are addressed to him. The Companion 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه once said, "When it says, 'O you who believe ... ' you must listen [closely] as it is either ordering you to something that is good for you or prohibiting you something that is bad for you."
In Ihyaa' 'Uloom ad-Deen, Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله wrote,
"Although everyone is addressed by the speech [or verse of the Qur'aan], in fact, the individual is meant. The reader by himself is the one addressed. He has nothing to do with the rest of the people. He must realize that he is the addressed. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says, 'That I may warn you and all whom it reaches.'
(Sooratul-An'aam, 6:19).  Muhammad ibn Kaab al-Quradhi رحمه الله stated, 'Whoever the Qur'aan reaches, it is as if Allaah سبحانه و تعالى spoke to him.' If one is able to reach this realization, then he will not consider his recitation of the Qur'aan as his [final] deed but he will read it as a slave reads a letter from his master that [the master] wrote for him to study and act according to what it commands ... And for this reason one scholar said, "This Qur'aan is letters [or messages] that have reached us from our Lord سبحانه و تعالى with His covenants, so that we may ponder over it in the prayers, and ponder over it in our seclusion  and implement it in the acts of obedience and sunan.'" 
Obviously the Qur'aan is much more important than any letters from a master or friend or commands from a superior. It is the guidance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى for every individual. The reader must realize that this is his personal guide. It is a mercy for him personally. It is a healing for the diseases of his own heart and soul. If the person understands that the Qur'aan is a revelation from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى but does not fathom that it has been revealed for his own guidance, his reading will certainly be lacking. He may never come to the realization that the Qur'aan is talking directly to him and to his heart. He may never realize that the Qur'aan is showing him the straight path. Alas, he may read the Qur'aan throughout his entire life and never realize that this is his guide and a mercy for him until it is too late and it will be of no avail to him.
Finally, the reader should realize that this aspect is true for every passage in the Qur'aan. Murad رحمه الله perceptively noted,
"Indeed, I believe there is not a single passage in the Qur'aan which does not have a personal message for you, only you have to have the insight to look for it. Every attribute of God asks you to build a corresponding relationship with Him, every description of the Life beyond death asks you to prepare for it, or aspire for its reward, or seek protection from its evils, every dialogue involves you in it and every character presents a model you should either emulate or avoid following. Every legal injunction, even it is apparently inapplicable in your present situation, has some message for you. Very general statements always have a specific meaning for you; very specific statements, events and situations can always lead to general propositions to apply to your lives." 
One final point should be made on this topic. Some people might get sidetracked by the Qur'aan's alluding to many aspects of the life and beliefs of the Arabs at the time of its revelation. But, as Maudoodi رحمه الله has concisely answered, this should not be taken to mean it was revealed for them for the principles it discusses not the incidents are apparent throughout all times and places. Indeed, many of the misconceptions they had regarding belief about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى are relevant today and an understanding of the arguments presented to them in the Qur'aan is very important for the purposes of calling non-Muslims to Islam. Maudoodi رحمه الله states,
"What ought to be considered is whether or not the Quranic statements in refutation of the polytheistic beliefs of the Arabs of those days apply as well to other forms of polytheism in other parts of the world. Can the arguments advanced by the Qur'aan in that connection be used to rectify the beliefs of other polytheists? Is the Quranic line of argument for establishing the unity of God, with minor adaptations, valid and persuasive for every age? If the answers are positive, there is not reason why a universal teaching should be dubbed exclusive to a particular people and age merely because it happened to be addressed originally to that people and at that particular period of time. No philosophy, ideology or doctrine consists of mere abstraction and is totally unrelated to the circumstances in which it developed."   Notes:
 Khurram Murad رحمه الله, Way to the Quran (Leicester, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1985), p. 43
 Recorded by Imaam Muslim رحمه الله
 Recorded by Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله. According to Misfur al-Ghaamidi, it is hasan. See al-Ghaamdi's footnotes to Muhammad ibn Ayyoob adh-Dhaaris, Fadhaa'il al-Qur'aan (Dar Haafidh, 1988), p. 67
 The entire verse reads, "Say: What thing is most weighty in evidence? Say: Allaah is witness between me and you; this Qur'aan has been revealed to me by inspiration. That I may warn you and all whom it reaches. Can you possibly bear witness that other than Allaah there are gods? Say: Nay! I cannot bear witness. Say: But in truth He is the One God. And I truly am innocent of (your blasphemy of) joining others with Him."
 Salaahuddeen Al-Khaalidi, Mafaateeh lit-Ta'aamul ma'al-Qur'aan (Jordan: Maktaba al-Manaar), 1985, p. 119, quoted this passage from Imaam al-Ghazzaali's work رحمه الله but the quote was mistaken at this point as al-Khaalidi's text states, "khutuwat." The mistake could have been from the edition of al-lhyaa' that al-Khaalidi used.
 Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله, Ihyaa' 'Uloom ad-Deen (Beirut: Dar al-Marifa, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 285
 Murad, pp. 90-91
 Abul Ala Maudoodi رحمه الله, An Introduction to Understanding the Quran (Riyadh: WAMY, 1990), pp. 40-41
 Taken from: Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo حفظه الله, How to Approach and Understand the Quran (Boulder, CO, USA: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1999), pp. 167-173